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How Artificial Intelligence Will Forever Change The Working World


The impact of artificial intelligence on CRE and the broader economy will be significant.

CRE - Meet Your New Agent, Art E. Fishell 


Electronic devices collect and store a lot of data with untapped potential. “Deep learning,” or the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed, allows devices to leverage that information, revolutionizing CRE. The sector is a document-intensive one. Virtual piles of data have accumulated, now residing in remote data centers, when before they filled filing cabinets. Mining the mountains of lease agreements, transaction histories and financial statements has previously proven too expensive to justify allocating the human and monetary capital required. An AI system can comb through these quickly, yielding valuable findings.

Buyers find the capabilities of AI-powered search engines so great that they depend less on brokers’ expertise early in the process. A recently launched tool called CityBldr promises to do for CRE what Zillow did for residential, achieving in seconds what it takes land acquisition teams months to accomplish, according to CityBldr CEO Bryan Copley. The Seattle-based startup's product uses AI to find deals and estimate their return on investment, ranking land assemblages and properties based on their development potential. Brokers are finding AI lets them spend more time on-site with a client. Their consulting roles have been facilitated by increasingly sophisticated chatbots that can address the more menial tasks of booking appointments and responding to prospective buyers’ and tenants’ inquiries.

Other things to watch for include marketing campaigns tailored to individuals in ways that border on privacy infringement. Real estate portals may use dating site algorithms to unite people with the physical space best suited to their needs and preferences. Sophisticated and accurate image categorization continues to be a boon to an industry so heavily reliant on pictures. As computers achieve artificial general intelligence, leads will become increasingly focused and data-informed, combining property availability with a buyer’s tendencies, income and feature preferences, for example.

Economy - Jobs Eliminated And Responsibilities Changed

Spot welding of BMW 3 series car bodies with KUKA industrial robots at a BMW plant in Leipzig, Germany.

As millions of workers, especially less-skilled laborers, are replaced by more efficient, less expensive and less error-prone machines, many economists are predicting a huge spike in unemployment. Oxford University researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne quantify this danger, saying that 47% of total U.S. employment will be at risk in the next 10 to 20 years.

Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have all expressed apprehension at the prospect of a world in which machines can perform most tasks better than humans, and have implored the scientific community and governments to check the progress of this potentially catastrophic technology. Lawmakers, wary the business landscape could take a while to adjust to accommodate those left jobless by AI, are exploring educational programs fit to this digital era.

Optimists believe machines taking care of mundane tasks will leave people free to pursue more creative vocations. Many hope the economy’s trajectory will follow technology’s exponential one, accelerated by AI.

We may be approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any routine or analytical task, but property buying and selling contains an emotional element not solved solely by data analysis.

The Human Element – What Machines Cannot Do


Supercomputers can tackle a complex series of equations in fractions of seconds, a task that would take the most brilliant mathematician hours. There has been far less success imbuing devices with capacities that toddlers possess, such as the ability to correctly recognize a sketch of a cat, which represents elementary symbolic reasoning.

Artificial Narrow Intelligence comprises the vast majority of AI in the systems and applications we interact with each day. This software specializes — it does one well-defined thing extremely well. The jobs that are safest from obsolescence are those that require broad, abstract thought.

Our content sponsor, the CBIZ Commercial Real Estate National Practice, works strategically with property developers, owners, investors and managers to capitalize on the value of data to support tactical and operational decisions that minimize risk and maximize property/portfolio value. 

Related Topics: Artificial Intelligence, CBIZ