Artificial intelligence: why human diversity is key to success

Beca, one of Asia Pacific’s largest advisory, design and engineering consultancies, is developing numerous tools using artificial intelligence (AI) to address multiple challenges in powerful new ways.

For Beca, it is the diversity of human intelligence and creativity that is the key driver in creating leading-edge AI tools.

Matt Ensor, Business Director, who is leading the development and launch of Beca’s Frankly AI product, a tool that enables widespread community engagement on built environment issues, says, “The trick to effectively creating AI is diversity. Each person brings a unique perspective and conversational style, this is the best way to enhance our AI capabilities.”

As well as Frankly AI, Beca’s range of artificial intelligence tools are capable of analysing large sets of data, automating complex engineering designs through machine learning, visual recognition, natural language understanding in multiple languages, and generative design in a few hours instead of days.

To develop Frankly.ai, Matt brought together a team of eight interns, with diverse experiences and backgrounds to help train the conversational agent. He says, “They all brought with them a different view on the world and, at the same time, they were able to gain experience developing an artificial intelligence tool. It has been an exhilarating project – to watch such a diverse team deliver a very effective AI tool.”

Thanks to the interns and over 500 Beca people who helped train the AI, Beca has been able to grow Frankly.ai to have a natural conversation with people, in multiple languages, online. It is ideal for clients who would like to engage and consult with communities on projects, as it enables the user to lead the conversation and feel more comfortable discussing what is important to them; gaining a better representation of the communities' views.

Frankly.ai is currently being piloted by some of Beca’s key clients who are using it as part of their consultation process.

Where to from here? Matt says, “We will continue to develop our AI and its uses for our clients and people. It’s exciting to be right at the beginning of our AI journey!”

Follow the link to find out more about Beca’s artificial intelligence services.


The team of interns who helped make everyday better.