by Brianna Crandall — November 13, 2017 — U.K.-based international real estate accreditation organization the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) launched an insight paper recently that explores the impact of using artificial intelligence (AI) in the built environment, and the urgent need for industry professionals to understand how it will influence their role, as the future will rely less on human labor and more on technology.
Artificial intelligence (AI) in FM
One sector that the Artificial Intelligence: What it Means for the Built Environment highlights as facing a significant impact of AI is facilities management (FM), due to the labor-intensive and repetitive nature of many FM jobs, making it an ideal place for automation of previously human-dominated tasks. However, the report weighs up the positives and negatives of such changes and how companies should deal with them.
According to Paul Bagust, RICS global property standards director:
FM will always have a vital role to play within the built environment, and even though many operational roles will become more technology-led, the sector could benefit hugely from AI at a strategic level. For example, machinery utilizing AI will revolutionize the FM industry, making many jobs faster, safer, less costly and this will ultimately improve a company’s service offering and increase their bottom line.
Technology and the availability of data is also changing the way investors look for opportunities and invest. This will present a huge threat to the industry if ignored, but, again, it presents so many opportunities for those who work in the built environment. So, all businesses, however large or small, must act now and analyze and prepare for how this disruptive technology could transform their role, sector and the wider built environment — otherwise they face becoming obsolete.
The paper discusses how AI will transform the property industry by driving smart, efficient buildings from design through to construction. It also highlights how those in the industry can exploit the latest AI applications and developments, including drones and BIM (building information modeling), to plan and work more effectively, while improving and better maintaining the quality of buildings and the wider built environment.
Chris Hoar, co-founder of AI in FM, stated:
The overarching message of this report is that organizations should seek out and maximize the opportunities that artificial intelligence presents, while minimizing any potential threats. This way, they will have a much better chance of controlling their business strategy, direction and financial health.
RICS expects artificial intelligence will be one of the driving forces as the globe becomes more urban and digital. How this technology can develop our industries and drive productivity will be explored further at the RICS World Built Environment Forum Summit on April 23-24, 2018, in London.
Artificial Intelligence: What it Means for the Built Environment is available from the RICS Web site.