'A tsunami of AI' heading for the property industry

This article originally appeared on the Thames Tap website: http://www.tvproperty.co.uk/news/a-tsunami-of-ai-heading-for-the-property-industry
A ‘tsunami’ of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems is in the pipeline for the property industry, delegates were told at this month’s First Tuesday Club.
Around 70 industry professionals gathered for the June 5 meeting at the Café @ No10, a lakeside restaurant developed by APAM and Patron Capital at Arlington business park. The event was sponsored by building and engineering consultants and Thames Tap partner Butler & Young.
Steve Hutton, director of work space designer, Three Sphere Workplace, explained a partnership he has set up with the University of Oxford called PropAI to look for opportunities for AI in the property industry.
Work being developed at the university includes intelligent cameras that can be used in care homes to monitor unusual actions by residents and then link that information to data a such as the person’s blood pressure.
And in retail, systems can expand on existing footfall measures.
Mr Hutton said: “ We have systems that can look at footfall so CCTV-type cameras where they can look at what is going on in shopping centres, looking at moods and trends, to the extent that they are looking at what people are wearing.
“Whether their clothes are fake Crew or real Crew or whether there are too many miserable blokes or too many happy women.”
He said massive data sets linking buyers with sellers were being worked on along with planning tools which can go through planning histories.
He added: “There is a whole feeling that it’s a little bit of a tsunami. It’s just relentless, its coming at 100mph and I get the feeling it’s a bit like the goldrush because if you can find the right application and you can make it ten times better, then you’ve got such a massive competitive advantage over everybody.
“And arguably, once you’ve done it once, you don’t have to do it again because it’s already there.”
He said systems could allow businesses to take greater risks with lower risk information.
Bill Hicks, head of connectivity at Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said the LEP was beginning to fund more ‘soft infrastructure’ schemes such as ultrafast broadband and the smart cities projects.
He added: “The Government estimates that by 2034 AI will be worth £230 billion as industry so we need to stay on top of this.”
Earlier, Ben Dickins, asset manager for APAM, which along with Patron Capital, bought much of the park around three years ago, explained the transformation going on at Arlington.
The opening of the café where First Tuesday Club was held, with its meeting room, gym, and a new meeting room on the lake, due to open imminently, were a response to a survey of occupiers.
He said: “Since this café was built we’ve done about six lettings and we have six or seven tenants we are speaking to at the moment. A lot are technology based. As you know the Thames Valley is full of technology firms. They like the meeting areas and the community feel we are building here.
The biggest feature of what we are doing differently to other parks around the country is we spend £120,000 a year on events for our tenants, zorbing on the lake this year, human table football tournaments, language classes, Christmas fair, outdoor cinema which we invite all the local communities to.
“All the technology-based tenants love the sense of community that we are building here and we are trying to make this the premiere destination for that kind of community feel going forward.”

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