“Can we design buildings with cognition in mind, can this building then understand its users actions, and can this make our lives better?”

THECUBE’s Josh Artus discusses our relationship with the built environment in a new age of technology. We have been creating technology and tools, which help us manipulate and enhance our physical environment since our encounter with fire. It is what makes us highly adaptable.

We are witness to a new era evolving around us driven by artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Our hypothesis is that this era will be as significant as the Renaissance, Enlightenment or Industrial Revolution. It will steer to us both a technological and cognitive evolution.

The distinguishing feature about this era is the convergence of neuroscience with technology. As it means that we are simultaneously discovering more about how the brain works due to more sophisticated technology and creating more sophisticated technology (AI) due to our understanding of the brain.

However, it is not the holy grail that everyone is predicting, it will lead us to ask tough ethical questions, destroy industries, cause unemployment, and change economic structures. Furthermore, AI will not give us all the answers at the push of a bottom, it will still need to be directed towards a purpose. As we turn our focus to the real estate industry this has impacts on all remits of our interaction with the built environment.

Alas it is not all doom in gloom, AI networks will radically improve the efficiency of the services we use and their consumption methods. Through machine learning techniques ‘smart’ robots and other facilities management devices can learn how to heat, cool, clean reducing waste so that services bills drop. From a city-wide point of view it can improve transport and construction methods.

AI networks are already making ‘smart’ decisions in the financial industry, crunching numbers far beyond human capacity and advising on stock purchasing. For property, can multiple ‘smart’ datasets understand human behaviour better to predict future growth areas in the development market or over what period of time new services will be needed in a certain area increasing the values of existing buildings?

Whilst artificial networks could have the impact of job losses it could also dramatically improve the human experience. Can we design buildings with cognition in mind, can this building then understand its users actions, requirements and problems, and can it then make suggestions of how our lives can be better.

At DatschaPresents: Smart Cities, we’ll be covering how greater understandings of the brain will lead to more conscious design and a more biologically plausible artificial intelligent networks improving our relationship with the built environment, and its with us.

Josh Artus focuses the strategy for THECUBE’s consultancy as it expands further into all aspects of the real estate industry. Josh has always been fascinated in understanding how design impacts on behaviour and is currently focused on looking into how changes in policy and planning can influence and improve the industry.

Araceli Camargo is a cognitive neuroscientist specialising in the field of perception. Through THECUBE’s private consultancy Araceli applies research and understandings in neuroscience to industry relevant topics, recent clients have been in the fields of retail and experiential events.

THECUBE Josh and Araceli will be leading the second in our series of breakfast seminars, DatschaPresents: Smart Cities, on 08 September 2016.

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By Camilla McDermott
September 4, 2016