“The time is ripe, even overdue, to take a cold, hard look at what a highly disruptive technology could do to the industry.” From the design and construction of a building through to managing and maintaining it, artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being integrated into core business strategies and impacting the work of surveyors of all disciplines and their fellow professionals.

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This paper examines the current thinking, state-of-the-art applications and predictions surrounding AI to uncover many examples of how it will transform the way we work and how we can exploit it to improve the quality of the built environment.

How does this fit into the greater PropTech landscape?

Decades of steady and sometimes staggering improvements in technology has changed how most of us do our work and interact with others. For those engaged in creating and sustaining the built environment, there are threats from AI that can increasingly outperform the physical and cognitive skills of workers on all levels.

There are also real opportunities for those who can understand the changes that AI will bring for the better and who are then able to exploit them.

For long enough, we have known what affects individual performance negatively; now there is the chance to understand how to move in the opposite direction and enhance occupant well-being.

Why did we concentrate on AI?

AI has become a topic of considerable debate, with positive and negative implications promoted and challenged by a broad cross-section of interests and individuals. We need to understand what this technology can do now, what is probable in the foreseeable future, and the actions that might have to be taken to deal with it.

The research for this paper helps to map-out plausible scenarios and responses for all professionals working in the built environment.

Accepting that the future will increasingly see more reliance on technology in general and less on human labour and basic skills is the first step. Developing an objective, balanced plan to exploit AI is a close second.

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