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Why AI isn’t scary, but exciting

Britta O'Boyle
Content Contributor, Lyrical Communications

There have been a number of advancements in technology in the decade I have been a technology journalist, from Alexa democratising the smart home to LiDAR sensors and AR making the creation of 3D rooms and what goes into them much more visual for everyone. But nothing is quite as prevalent as Artificial Intelligence, or AI as it is more commonly referred to.

There is every chance AI is going to put me out of a job in a few years time (maybe sooner), and perhaps several others in various sectors. But while it wasn’t good enough to write these 400 words without sounding like a C-3PO wrote them, there are a few things AI does really well.

One of those is automating some of the more mundane tasks in order to free us humans up for the more exciting or strategic ones. Now don’t get me wrong, AI still has some way to go before it will do things perfectly and require no human input whatsoever, but it’s already come a long way in the last few years. Do you remember when facial recognition was the kind of thing you saw in James Bond films rather than everyday on your phone? Or when self-driving cars were nothing more than the pages of fiction novels instead of actively roaming streets?

AI encompasses several technologies, from machine learning and natural language processing, to computer vision. It means it can process huge datasets that would take us as humans weeks to analyse, whilst also identifying patterns and offering insights. From creating great presentations based on information you provide, to more advanced insights like the potential energy use of a building, occupant behaviour, and even possible maintenance issues. It can come up with a kitchen design based on measurements you give it, and if you don’t like that design, it will come up with another in a matter of seconds.

It can’t replace an architect, a kitchen designer, or a bathroom designer – nor should it – but what it can do is offer a starting point, perhaps even spark an idea or a fresh angle, or analyse data more quickly to help you make decisions or look a little deeper. And that’s exciting because therein lies a realm of endless possibilities.

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