Over the past 2 decades, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has exponentially increased toward complete automation of structural inspection and assessment tasks. This trend will continue to rise in image processing as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and the internet of things (IoT) markets are expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 57.5% and 26%, respectively, from 2021 to 2028. This paper aims to catalog the milestone development work, summarize the current research trends, and envision a few future research directions in the innovative application of AI in civil infrastructure health monitoring. A blow-by-blow account of the major technology progression in this research field is provided in a chronological order. Detailed applications, key contributions, and performance measures of each milestone publication are presented. Representative technologies are detailed to demonstrate current research trends. A road map for future research is outlined to address contemporary issues such as explainable and physics-informed AI. This paper will provide readers with a lucid memoir of the historical progress, a good sense of the current trends, and a clear vision for future research.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


U.S. Department of Transportation, Grant 00059709

Keywords and Phrases

artificial intelligence; autonomous inspection; big data analytics; deep learning; machine learning; smart maintenance and monitoring; structural health monitoring

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

23 Sep 2022