Irreplaceable: Exploring Anticipatory Intelligence and Human-Machine Work

July 19, 2018 | By: Jacob Wilder, CAE

It is all the buzz. The machines are taking over! While we haven’t quite reached Terminator or Matrix-level panic, we are already seeing the increased frequency of anticipatory intelligence, business intelligence and human-machine cooperation in building operations and management.

Primarily it appears to be driven from two environmental factors. First, there is a rapid rate of technological change occurring. Second, we have changed the way we work in response to environmental and economic pressures.

Don’t act like you haven’t seen the kiosks at McDonalds. Don’t worry, your secret is safe. No one knows —except the machines—that you ordered that Large Big Mac Combo.

In all seriousness, real estate has seen and continues to see environmental pressures from rising wages, talent shortages and modern technology affect the way we work.

AI’s Current State

While we aren’t looking at a full-scale takeover by our machine masters-yet-there have been incredible advances in the field of anticipatory intelligence (AI). While we could talk about artificial intelligence too, that isn’t the primary focus here. Check out this recent Tech Stuff Podcast on your next commute if you want to learn more about that.

No, with the rise of anticipatory intelligence, we will continue to see business intelligence (BI) systems that leverage big data, analytics and the previously mentioned artificial intelligence to show predictive analytics, anticipate needs, opportunities and threats to businesses.

A great blog post by Nick Romito at VTS explores this idea in greater detail as it relates to commercial real estate. Specifically, he highlights three areas where BI and AI can be useful—portfolio analytics, custom reporting and mobile access to data.

Smart Buildings excel with human-machine interaction

We have all heard about the Internet of Things (IoT). Now we are seeing how all those things are working together to help us manage and operate high-performance real estate assets. This human-machine cooperation increases efficiency, allowing machines to do complex or repetitive tasks that can occasionally zap the efficiency of a high-performing real estate operation. On the human side, professionals will need to be informed and trained on these systems, so that both the machine and human component of the relationship are optimized.

The impact and implications of Smart Buildings and the Internet of Things are real. The opportunity to optimize maintenance practices that improve operations efficiency and support capital planning is happening now. Better interaction with tenants and other building occupants is made possible with smart building systems. The ability to monitor and adjust in real time how efficiently building systems operate will manifest huge gains in energy efficiency and waste reduction.

Check out this Intel-Sponsored White Paper from Navigant Research for more details.

Virtual Assistants

Another example of human-machine interaction is taking the next step forward. Many Google users already know that they have surrendered a certain degree of privacy for the free use of Google’s search, video, email and file storage platforms. In recent months, those users have started to see AI implemented in human-machine interaction as automated responses are prepopulated in their Gmail and Android SMS messaging responses.

Google’s AI is studying our personal and business behaviors, and it is making us more efficient at our jobs. All ethical and privacy concerns aside, the possibilities of this technology are exponential.

What do you know about Amy or Andrew?

These are your new virtual assistants, made possible thanks to Self described as “a hardcore technology company with a mission to democratize the personal assistant. We’ve created Amy and Andrew Ingram, autonomous AI assistants who schedule meetings for you.”

These AI platforms connect with your email accounts and calendar to help schedule your meetings. The platform can review your availability, and then hold conversations with your clients, contacts, leads and candidates to find meeting times that work best for you.

See how it works.

Thought Exercise

There are many other promising trends and disruptors in the market that have the potential to radically change the way buildings and facilities are operated and maintained.

Considering the impact that anticipatory intelligence, business intelligence and human-machine interaction will have on your work, what opportunities do you see now to prepare yourself and your organization for the future that is coming, and the future that is already here?