Setting the Stage

DTS is almost here – in just one week we’ll be getting together – minus the armor, swords, and medieval lighting – and tackling what Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) means to the AEC industry, and how we can best position our firms and ourselves in this evolving landscape.


According to Gartner’s 2017 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle report, ML is just about ready to take a roller coaster-like dive into the ‘trough of disillusionment’. After lots of talk and inflated expectations, there will be a letdown as the realities of early implementation come to light, and the hype gets put in check. So how can we even out this trough in our firms? What can we propose that demonstrates the positive aspects of AI, while keeping the disillusionment at bay?


One idea we’ve discussed in the DTS Committee is to focus our conversations on the next several years, while keeping the longer-term view in the background. Using this framework to think about ‘driverless car’ technology, we know it isn’t mature enough yet to eliminate the need to drive, but today it is useful in providing useful feedback and assistance to drivers.


In the AEC space, two things that come to my mind are Proving Ground’s LunchBox ML plugin, and WeWork’s desk layout automation research.  The former is a tool that can be adopted now, and the latter describes a proof-of-concept that could be expanded to address more complex design scenarios.


So be prepared for an intense, fun, and hopefully satisfying day and a half of conversations. As you’re preparing for next week, keep the following in mind:


* What improvements can we begin over the next twelve months

* How will they benefit our practices, our work, and our lives, and

* How can they inform and accommodate the next wave of technological advancement?


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Author: Robert Yori

Oldcastle, Inc

Robert Yori explores innovative uses of technology to better design, visualize, and deliver projects. He works at Oldcastle, Inc as part of the Digital Engineering team – a technologically-oriented R&D group tasked with identifying strategic technologies, process improvement, software development, and other initiatives.

He has provided consulting services to in the architectural, construction, development, and product manufacturing fields, and, in architectural practices, led Knowledge sharing, big data analysis, and computational design literacy efforts. He also led a team responsible for technology-related R&D, strategic guidance to project teams, and designing and delivering learning curricula. Prior to focusing on technology, he designed and delivered architectural projects in the commercial, institutional, retail, and interior markets.

Robert has taught at New York University and the New York School of Interior Design, and has lectured extensively, including at the AIA Conferences, Autodesk University, RTC, BIMForum, and ACADIA. He was the AIA’s 2016 Technology in Architectural Practice Chair, and led the organization’s 2017 Innovation Awards.

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