Movies and theories suggesting that Artificial Intelligence would take over the world soon and humans would be erased forever have been making rounds on the planet for quite some time now. Around the globe, we have seen instances of robots performing surgeries and drones replacing delivery workers. Artificial intelligence has managed to impact most of the fields but what about architecture. Architecture is a field that sways between art and engineering. While the engineering aspects may be covered by Artificial Intelligence, can it replace the creative faction?

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1. AI can’t deal with everything

Though AI can give us outputs from a set of data and information stored previously, it cannot curate one on its own. An architect puts himself or herself into the shoes of the client and tries to figure out solutions that maybe suited best. AI work on predefined knowledge which does not take into consideration the emotional aspect. AI does not have the ability to make decisions on its own and this decision making is one of the key skills of humans. With a given set of data and restrictions, AI is able to give you a set of viable options. But the conscience and understanding to choose and finalize one among them still lie within the humans.

2. AI can take over the repetitive tasks

While designing can be fun and exciting, several repetitive tasks that drain an architect’s time and energy. Redrafting and revising drawings will be taken over by Artificial Intelligence which would render precise and accurate drawings. This would also mean that the architect would be left with a lot of time in hand to focus on the design. Once the mundane jobs are taken away, the designer can put in those hours to blow in soul to the project. Creativity comes from a human end and thus we have a long way to go.

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3. AI as the foundation

The design process starts with the first step of research. Looking back at the works and information would take as much time as 75% of the entire design process. With a powerful data storage and reviewing system, this could make the design process faster equipping the architect with all the necessary information in a matter of seconds. A design process, especially in the very early stages of work, would mean working with a bare minimum of knowledge. This is where AI steps in with its power to analyze and compile data and information in the blink of an eye and help the designer.

4. AI as the final juror

Experimentation has been a risky tool in architecture. A design’s stability, strength, and performance could not be assessed earlier. Gone are those days. With the help of AI, one can test the design to close enough site conditions and other parameters. This enables the designer or architect to experiment without much loss or harm to anybody. Also, solutions can be derived even before the project hits the ground. The BIM software where one can understand the strengths and faults and the solar access zones as per the site and work on it or the Unity 3D wherein there are options to find the nearest fire exits, pedestrian map, and circulation weight.

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5. AI can bring your vision to life

Earlier sketches and not so realistic renders were the sole way one could imagine his or her design. Now the story is different. AR and VR have aced to a point where you can walk through your design to fell and experience as you choose what you want and whatnot. This will definitely enhance the way a design is experienced even before the works are in motion.

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6. AI vs Humans

As per a study by Oxford University in 2013, the most and least likely to replaced professions by Artificial Intelligence, some interesting conclusions can be drawn. Architects were one among at the end of least likely with a probability rate of 1.8% and telemarketing being one among the most likely. The study showed that most of the professions that were on the least likely side had human interaction as one of their cornerstones along with empathy and emotions. This is where humans cannot be replaced for a very long time to come.

CAN AI REPLACE ARCHITECTS - Sheet5Even though most part of an architect’s duties may be replaced by AI, it would never manage to completely replace an architect. Decision making, emotion, and conscience are few of the parameters that AI is yet to explore and master. This is bound to take a great deal of time and investment and can’t be seen as such in the near future. AI would be a new tool that would enable a new wave of architecture. However, the way architecture will be done is bound to evolve dynamically in the coming years. The role and duties of architects may not be the same in a few year’s time. The profession will adapt and take a much newer form. One that would be challenging and close to perfection with the aid of AI.

Author

Reshmy Raphy has always been a lover of words. Pursuing final year of B.Arch, she is on her path to discover Architectural Journalism. She loves to learn about different cultures and architectural styles, approaches and people. It is this passion that brought her here on RTF.

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