Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a huge digital innovation that is creating amazing opportunities for businesses. In short, AI is the process of creating intelligent machines. The machines are ultimately computers, but they are able to carry out tasks that are usually done by people.
The human or intelligent aspect comes in as they are able to recognise speech, to learn and to problem solve. To enable them to take their intelligence to this level they need to have access to a lot of information. To use this information they need to implement knowledge engineering, allowing them to assimilate the information in a meaningful way. With knowledge engineering, computers are able to observe the world around them, understand data that they collect and act independently to put the data to the best use.
Many industries have already started using AI technologies to automate processes such as information capture and data processing. The technology offers a huge step forward in efficiency as computers are able to do the time-consuming day-to-day tasks while people can focus on their skill sets and deal with more complicated issues that aren’t so easily automated. Companies are able to work smarter and more efficiently, harnessing the power of the information and data that they gather and using data as the key driver in decision making. The symbiosis between man and machine forms a bit part of the ways businesses are evolving and digitally transforming.
The future potential of AI is quite incredible. It has the means to do so much more than save time and make processes more efficient. With the aforementioned knowledge engineering, it has the capabilities to convert raw data and communications into meaningful and profitable customer relationships. Moving forward AI will be able to make decisions that will improve outcomes for customers and businesses alike.
How AI is forming the future of AEC and Real Estate firms
Data is at the heart of a successful AI strategy and increasingly, AEC and Real Estate firms have begun to adjust the way they collect, store and process data. Industry-wide sharing of big data is leading to increased collaboration between teams and the breaking down of silo structures within organisations. However, data use within the AEC and Real Estate industries remains largely unregulated, requiring a degree of consensus about best practices and necessitating increased investment in and awareness of cyber-security. There is also a growing understanding that as the buildings becomes increasingly embedded with technology, data such as energy consumption and maintenance information can be accessed and perceived directly in the built environment, instead of living in spreadsheets.
How AI Is Changing the Architecture Industry
With the advent of any new and developing technology comes the need for industries and the people within them to adapt. As with a lot of industries a big change within architecture is that machines will become the knowledge workers being able to take over the routine. This will include anything that is transactional and analytical but with the bonus of machines being able to handle much larger data sources than their human equivalents. AI isn’t at a stage where it is able to take over the whole architectural design piece, but it can certainly help with preparing schedules, measuring, calculating, and evaluating.
The obvious concern for those working in the industry is that the areas that have potential for AI form a substantial part of an architect’s fees. As such architects will need to find new ways to demonstrate the value of their efforts outside of the soon-to-be automated production tasks connected to technical documentation. Of course, the very incorporation of this new technology will require a restructure of architect’s tasks. The new technology will need computational platforms, engineering knowledge systems, and workflow protocols. Although undoubtedly there is some concern within the industry as to how AI can be incorporated the opportunities are endless:
- Increased efficiency – automation allows for routine activities to become more efficient.
- Harnessed skillsets – the repurposing of hours allocated to a project will allow architects to focus on improvements in design.
- Shared knowledge – digitally connected professionals will create a community of expertise, which will benefit companies, individuals, and customers.
- Sharpened customer experience – clients like to see costs and project details and for them to be water-tight; AI can help with the management of complex, interconnected quantitative variables such as sustainable performance, construction logistics, and cost estimations.
- Improved processes – the planning and construction process will become easier for architects, customers, and contractors.
- Clarified requirements – AI technology will allow architects to quickly assess a client’s requirements and needs for a project, allowing them to drill down into the detail.
- Computerized infrastructure – online infrastructure with intelligent tools will allow clients to manage workflow, payments, and contract management.
- Focused strategy – the creation of new leads and acquisition channels will result in less time spent on competitions for bids and more business growth.
AI has the potential to create a truly symbiotic ecosystem in the architecture industry benefiting both architects and clients. Clients will receive a bespoke service, with a transparent and fully supported user experience, at a good price. Meanwhile, architects will use AI to help them better understand their clients and what they want. Buildings are always unique and not off the shelf solutions. Architects are able to understand and evaluate problems and convert them into insightful solutions.
AI is not at a point that it is able to take over the profession, but the supporting role it offers has amazing potential. With AI in its grasp, the architecture industry has the power to improve the way that building and cities are built and how we move around within them.