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AI: The Road to Efficiency

Thu May 23, 2024 - National Edition #12
World of Asphalt

XBE CEO and Founder Sean Devine
Photo courtesy of World of Asphalt
XBE CEO and Founder Sean Devine

At the recent World of Asphalt Show & Conference in Nashville, thousands of attendees took advantage of the show's education conference, aptly named the People, Plants and Paving Conference by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA).

In the People track, AI: The Road to Efficiency, Insight and Innovation in Asphalt, was led by XBE CEO and Founder Sean Devine.

XBE, an operations management software company for the horizontal construction industry, developed "Hey NAPA", an artificial intelligence search engine. The platform has been trained on hundreds of NAPA publications and can provide answers and resources to a variety of asphalt pavement questions.

"It's good at technical things, business related things, and at giving management advice," said Devine during his presentation. "It's good at a lot of things and it's totally free."

Devine walked attendees through examples of how to engage with "Hey NAPA" to solve issues rising up on the job including:

  • Creating a public information plan to soothe residents upset about the cost and disruption caused by a project.
  • Explain to an asphalt foreman the impact to cost and quality of mixing asphalt at too hot a temperature.

Devine also encouraged attendees to consider implementing AI platforms outside of "Hey NAPA" into their companies. He explained these tools can help managers and staff on a variety of topics, including:

  • safety plans
  • advertising
  • and even streamlining payroll systems.

Devine shared AI platforms are constantly evolving and improving.

"I anticipate by summer of 2024, we'll see an entirely new generation of [AI] models released, enabling even more amazing things," said Devine.

Devine also urged company owners and leaders to consider developing AI policies and strategies to set clear expectations with employees.

"When running an organization, model behavior from the top," said Devine. "People are looking to you for permission and encouragement. If you show you're not afraid, they won't be afraid."

Education at World of Asphalt's People, Plants & Paving Conference and the AGG1 Academy totaled more than 120 sessions. Some of the most popular sessions included Best Practices for Milling & Profiling, Best Practices for Residential & Commercial Paving, and Relational Leadership.

Held every year except during ConExpo-Con/AGG years, World of Asphalt is the leading trade show and conference focused on the asphalt and paving industries. The show features the best education, and latest equipment, products, services and technologies for the asphalt and paving industries.

The next World of Asphalt, co-located with the AGG1 Academy & Expo, will be held March 25-27, 2025, in St. Louis, Mo. World of Asphalt is majority owned by NAPA and partially owned by AEM, who produces the show.

For more information on World of Asphalt, visit

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