Like all innovations, AI will destroy some architect roles and create others | New

The question “Will a robot take my job?” Is never too far from any discussion of the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the future economy. The answer to this simple and justified question is anything but clear and continues to divide experts in economics and business trends.

As Time magazine noted in a room 2020, a group of economists from MIT and Boston University estimates that 42% of the 40 million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic will be permanently replaced by AI and machines, adding to the 400,000 jobs already lost due to automation in American factories between 1990 and 2007. To support their demand, the Time This piece highlights the prevailing trend of successful American companies downsizing their human workforce in favor of AI, in fields ranging from law and finance to DJs and… writing.

Separately, however, a MIT 2020 paper titled “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work” paints a more optimistic picture, claiming that the rigid, monotask thinking still exhibited by many AI applications will inhibit its ability to replace the creative and lateral thinking professions. “For the foreseeable future,” say the authors, “the most promising uses of AI will not involve computers replacing people, but rather people and computers working together – as ‘supramental’ – to perform both cognitive and physical tasks that couldn’t be done before. ”

Archinect functionality: what is the real threat of artificial intelligence for the architectural profession?

Architects are no strangers to this debate. In a feature article we published earlier this year titled “What is the real threat of artificial intelligence to the architectural profession?” Author Karim Abdel-Wadood pointed out how the dichotomy of AI presented in the economy at large, that of the effectiveness of cooperation versus displacement of jobs, is also evident in architecture.

While AI can help architects generate spatial analyzes without physical site visits, perform more precise environmental analyzes, or enable the design of responsive buildings that respond to human behaviors or desires in real time, AI can also bring an unbiased and egoless approach to the task. of building design, saving time and money that make the role of the architect economically unattractive to clients. As Adbel-Wadwood notes, “The threat is actually not posed by artificial intelligence itself, but by users who see AI as a cheaper and more efficient way to achieve an end. ”

Archinect functionality: meet the architects who design software to fight climate change

While the long-term impact of artificial intelligence on traditional architect workflows and responsibilities remains uncertain, our editorial also featured examples of architects adopting AI, machine learning, and software as platforms on which to exercise their creative skills and generate new career opportunities. . In June of this year, we spoke to four architectural firms that have created software tools to tackle climate change, all of whom expressed the idea that an architect’s skills in spatial organization, critical analysis and lateral thinking all lend themselves to the creation of digital products.

The limitless possibilities for architects in the AI ​​age were also evident in our recent conversation with acclaimed media artist Refik Anadol. Reflecting on the future role of architects in virtual space, Anadol said, “I don’t think that giving a building a particular function in the physical environment is the architecture of the future. I think, maybe, the future of the sensing space is on our minds.

Archinect functionality: can a building dream, learn and hallucinate? A conversation with Refik Anadol

This trend is also present on our job board, where advances in artificial intelligence translate into new job opportunities for architects. As part of our series of highlights of current jobs, this week we are focusing on Zenerate, a Los Angeles-based “generative real estate design company” made up of architects, software engineers and developers. IA. Founded by Harvard and Caltech graduates, the company uses AI and data science to create software applications that provide rapid feasibility studies for real estate developers and stakeholders looking to understand the financial potential of a development site. The output of the software focuses on verifying the viability of a site or property by quickly generating, transforming, and reconfiguring development layout options.

On Archinect Jobs, the company is currently advertising a full-time Architect / Architectural Designer, as well as a part-time Project Analyst, to join their Los Angeles team. Responsibilities of the Architect / Designer role include conducting zoning and building code research, contributing to an understanding of the real estate development and multi-family housing industry, assisting in product development and channeling customer feedback to help build a product roadmap.

Bullfinch, a parametric design tool developed by Wallgren Arkitekter and BOX Bygg

The role at Zenerate, like many in our Jobs Highlight series, demonstrates the architect’s ability to transcend the established convention of market-driven real estate or commercial development, and brings an understanding of space to a wide range. range of professional roles, including all design, remote living or visualization companies. This trait is also frequently exhibited in our Working Out Of The Box series, where skills learned through architectural education have allowed individuals to explore an endless list of topics, be it perfume, textiles, music or extraterrestrial life.

Faced with the dangers and opportunities brought to the profession by AI, these real-life examples of architects adapting their skills for career success capture the main advice from Adbel-Wadwood’s article: “It would be prudent for architects to think about how they can synthesize the more intangible aspects of their skills in order to be better equipped to navigate today’s rapidly changing environments.

As part of the Archinect Job Highlights series, we recently featured an opportunity to work as an Architect at Soho House, 3D Visualization Designer at Red Leaf, and Project or Design Manager at Industrious.

Stay up to date with the latest job openings by following Archinect Job’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Architect Jobs for new job offers published. Archinect’s industry-leading job site posts approximately 150 new opportunities every week.

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About Byron G. Fazio

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