Architects, are you tech-ready?

Artificial Intelligence has been around the film industry for decades now. What scared us the most in those movies? Well, it was certainly the fact that the machines always sought to have control over the human being, enslaving or destroying it.

Although we are far from living in a Matrix-like world if we are not already in it and we have not yet realized it, there is the fear of artificial intelligence because it means a reduction in human labor, and it seems that architects are included in the menu.

According to The Economist, 47% of the work done by humans will have been replaced by robots by 2037, as “artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human employees.”

Why are architects included on the menu?

Over the years, technology, mainly softwares such as Revit, Archicad and Rhino, have been a great ally of architects for the development of increasingly complex and ambitious projects that have resulted in simply spectacular works such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Metropol Parasol, Heydar Aliyev Center, Harbin Opera, Elgphilharmonie and many more.

Also, technology services such as support & maintenance of an organization’s internal infrastructure or 3D printing, laser cuts, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality have been key in contributing to this architectural evolution.

To perform any of these services or use any of the software, in architecture, the architects are necessary, but what if they were no longer needed?

Machine learning will soon allow software applications to synthesize vast amounts of architectural knowledge in seconds, he predicted. By contrast, architects take years to acquire the skills and experience necessary to design buildings, leaving them unable to compete.

Predictions estimate that customers could soon tell an app what type of building they want, describe the budget, location, size, and other preferences, and get a variety of options in seconds. Similarly, a customer could move the layout, see it in augmented reality, check how the furniture will fit in, and approve the one that fits the budget. The app would then recommend a local contractor to build the project.

Only a few architects will survive as architecture as an artistic practice is the only one that will survive and will be developed by a small elite. We are talking about five percent, one percent of the architects at most. The rest are done, they are condemned, they are gone. Finite. This is the end. Over.

This is not being pessimistic about it, but it seems that a wake-up call is required to dare and experience new fields in architecture designed for a future that is increasingly becoming a reality before it is too late.