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Hands-Free Life with AI? MIT and Realtors Share Their Visions


“Envision…using an app on your smartphone to open the door, hands-free. Artificial Intelligence (AI) recognizes you as having authorized access to the building, selects your floor on the elevator and has adjusted your temperature, lighting, window shades and music preferences for your office. It knows your coffee preferences and has one waiting for you at the lobby café.”

The above quote, which goes on to envision a multitude of AI-enabled daily activities, is from a (fun) article in Connected Real Estate e-magazine, describing the future of artificial intelligence, or “AI,” as the integration of building and personal device operations, much of it pushed forward due to the pandemic.

In such a scenario, sensors feed AI data generated by air quality/quantity sensors for temperature, humidity and C02, cameras, actuators, and information from the BAS integrated building systems. AI allows for all of these components to interact with each other, while identifying and solving problems in real time, to sustain operational reliability and minimize the risk of harmful environmental impacts.

Working people everywhere will soon be returning to their company offices, in many cases with some trepidation. Health and safety will be top of mind – air filtered for cleanliness, possible physical rearrangement of work areas, management rules for operating within the space and the systems that control the space — beyond comfort control to real safety.

According to a recent MIT paper, “Covid-19 and The Workforce: Critical workers, productivity, and the future of AI,” artificial intelligence may drive significant changes across the business and policymaking world. Key takeaways include:

  1. Work will change, and faster—Directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic, between 32 and 50 million US jobs could be increasingly assisted by technology to reduce health risks posed by human interaction and safeguard productivity.
  2. New technology maps—Business managers are combining immediate social and economic shocks with potentially repositioning the technology roadmap for business around AI, automation, and the future of work.
  3. Job positive and job negative effects—Business leaders must take rapid steps to identify high risk roles, protect and future-proof productivity within those roles, and provide training and development or new career pathways for workers.

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