Editor’s Desk: Artificial Intelligence

Harnessing Technology in the Architecture Industry

Technology has its place in every aspect of the architecture industry, from planning to project performance to billing.  Recently, artificial intelligence (AI) has been all over the news, usually in a doomsday type of headline.  Instead of lambasting AI as having the potential to be a runaway threat to humankind, think of it instead as a tool to make your life easier and the future brighter. It’s important to stay on top of emerging AI trends, as architecture isn’t the only industry that has access to innovative technology.  Construction firms and software companies are using AI in their industries, and if architects don’t keep up, they could be left out of key decision-making processes.  AI is essentially a machine learning from data and performing human intelligence processes.  Ideally, AI can take over those mundane tasks that we all dread doing.  For example, AI can collect data from previous projects to help make informed decisions about future projects.  By stepping away from time-consuming, albeit important, tasks, architects can focus on the creative aspects of the project.

         AI will never replace architects and designers as creators of beautiful, functional spaces.  One thing AI cannot replicate is the human experience, which includes designing built environments that are warm, accessible, and ultimately livable.  But, AI does serve an important, ever-expanding role within the industry.  If utilized correctly, AI can greatly improve workflows, increase profitability, and open new doors for new and established architects.  People within firms who know how to harness the power of AI to streamline the design process are going to be some of the most valuable parts of the team. 

         On a larger scale, AI can help carry the architecture world into a new, sustainable future that involves smart homes and efficient buildings that take into account reducing waste and maximizing available space.  Medicine, IT, and engineering professionals already use AI in their design-making processes, essentially speeding up the planning and implementation phases.  Similarly, architects can rely on AI’s data evaluation to enhance a design, both aesthetically and profitably, from beginning to end. 

         Don’t be afraid of AI, and remember that you are the captain of the ship.  You have the final decision-making power, and it’s up to you to use AI as a tool for positive change and growth in the architecture industry. 

Marcus Dodson


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