AI and the future of the AE Industry

We are fast approaching DTS 2018 on August 7th, and the enthusiasm is building! The committee has been busy finalizing discussion topics and the excitement has been mounting with each meeting.  We look forward to thought-provoking and impassioned dialogues on present day digital practice topics and challenges.

This year, a hot topic that is quickly becoming a pervasive presence in our every day lives is AI. True AI has yet to infect the AE industry though there are lots of examples that come close. What aspects of an Architectural practice or Engineering practice would we want to involve artificial thinking?  How would we “teach” it and what challenges must we overcome to benefit the most from (unbiased? Logical?) Digital thinking? If we were able to record every answer to each day’s design or management questions, what format does that take to make it consumable by a “digital brain”? And how then does that information get regurgitated when it’s needed?


We talk about Artificial Intelligence as being the next great disseminator of information in tomorrow’s world, but we seem to skip the part on how we gather the information.  We are seeing web browsers recommending products to purchase, smart cars starting to drive themselves, and autocorrect putting words into my messages that I have no idea what they mean.  The design industry is influenced so much by personal experiences and emotions, that trying to translate that factor into a simple on/off algorithm might appear to be next to impossible.


But what is impossible today may not be tomorrow. We must figure out the right questions to ask.  The growing connection between people via technology is allowing us to look into everyone’s daily habits, learn their routines, and now we can attempt to connect this data with the design process.  But we still have the issue, “What questions do we want to ask?”


We will be discussing these questions along with many others at DTS 2018, August 7th-8th in St. Louis.  If you already know the answer or you have even better questions, join us! There are a few seats open!

Author: Chris Warden


Chris is the Director of Design Technology at TreanorHL and has been implementing BIM, Revit, and digital best practices across TreanorHL’ s multiple offices since 2007. Chris has approached the advancement of BIM in his firm by helping Project Management adopt a workflow that enhances the design process and creates a mentoring environment that information travels from Project Manager to young architects and young professionals are encouraged to continually challenge the past norms of traditional project management by utilizing current technology trends.

Chris leads the Professional Practice Leadership Team at TreanorHL as well as championing the BIM/Revit committee. Chris has been involved with multiple BIM projects ranging from the small to large complex facilities. Chris has been active with Design Technology Summit since 2014 and earned a Masters of Architecture from The University of Kansas in 2009.

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