This is what Ray Dalio says about artificial intelligence, he is regarded as the best Hedge Fund manager ever, his fund is called Bridgewater.

“The systems we had programmed to take in information and process it were doing superbly, without computers we’d have to do it the old way, weigh in our heads all the markets and all the influences on them and then bringing them together into a portfolio of bets, then hire and supervise a bunch of different investment managers and because we wouldn’t be able to have blind faith in them we would need to understand how each one of them made their decisions which would mean watching what they were doing and why so we could know what to do and expect from them while dealing with all the different personality issues!! Why would I want to do that! The best way of investing or managing an organisation was obsolete, like reading a map instead of following a GPS.

As much as I love and have benefited from Artificial Intelligence, I believe that only people can discover such things and then program computers to do them. That’s why I believe that the right people working with each other and with computers is the key to success.”

The million-dollar question, what are we doing with our existing data? is it possible to use it effectively to produce better results for us, the landlord and the tenants. The next question is, what data do we have, and what additional data can we obtain or produce at what cost? And the final question is, does it make commercial sense to do anything, what does the road map look like for the next 10 years in a digital work place, how will our processes and resourcing change to integrate and engage with modern technology and most importantly, what will our tenants want.

Just like Google, Sales Force, Xero, Apple and many others have had a material impact on our lives at a personal and business level, so too will software in the built environment, from design, to asset & property management to tenant engagement. The evolution of all of this technology must cause disruption and a re-shuffle of the status quo, this can be uncomfortable at times but also rewarding. Change is inevitable, growth is optional.

Recently I’ve enjoyed watching ‘The last dance’ which is the story of the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan era, who is known to be the best basketball player ever. There is a pivotal moment in the teams ascension, Michael Jordan was the player with the ball and scoring most of the points and they had lost in the playoffs 2 years in a row to the pistons (both went to game 7), and they discovered that Michael needed to change up his approach and so did the team because oppositions had worked out how to stop the prolific scoring abilities of MJ. This was difficult for Michael but his ability to put the team and the franchise ahead of himself, set off one of the greatest domination’s of a franchise in US basketball history. Michael was quoted as saying “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

The proven results of innovation are to improve efficiency and productivity. The goal is to move menial tasks to the computer or machine and pull out useful insights from available data to make the overall process and humans in that process more efficient.

When you improve efficiency, and productivity, business owners or leaders of industry know, you increase financial benefit either through a better service and higher revenues or tighter operation costs which leads to more profit. When it comes innovation today, it needs to involve artificial intelligence.

In the last decade, it has been the use of monitoring and rule-based software which has enabled contractors and service providers to increase scale and reduce the reliance on experienced engineers. This is helpful for service providers but very limited for managers and leaders of industry to access and use the data to improve profits, it also seems to have scalability issues. Imagine every time you wanted a google analytics report on your website you needed to wait for a Google employee to compile the report!! The next iteration of the rule based software is the same rules embedded in a whole different framework which is powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Why is this better or important?

Three big reasons:

1. Transparency and accountability – the data now provides evidence and insights to direct the labour, in real time, and everyone can see it

2. Scale, reliability and risk mitigation. The computer is much better than the brain at thinking about many things at once, and can do it more precisely, more rapidly and less emotionally. Because it has such a great memory it does a great job at compounding the knowledge of day to day operational learnings and feedback.

3. Control of data and decision making is now in the hands of commercial managers who have data supported insights to make smarter, faster and more accurate decisions about how to best operate the portfolio.

The computer doesn’t have the imagination, understanding and logic that humans do which makes it a great partnership. Using AI can work just as the brain works in processing the data and making decisions, like a revolving audit on the buildings vital signs, the computer works in parallel with the teams own analysis and helps with decisions, sometimes the computer will pick things up that the team missed and vice versa. When the system misses, the team updates it to make it better, like having a chess grand master help you plot your moves.