The Leader Magazine

JUN 2019

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18 JUNE 2019 th E l E ad E r by Claire Penny F E A T U R E A R T I C L E T he infusion of AI (artificial or augmented intelligence) is beginning to take hold across all industries. As companies around the globe start to digitize operations, services and products, they also begin to see that cost can be taken out, revenue can be generated, and profits can be increased with AI. That's because AI allows these same companies to securely generate, capture, store and analyze data. For today's building owners and operators, I'd like to explore the practical applications of AI. I'll also give you my three best tips for managing your own AI-based initiatives. f irst, set myths aside Real estate and facilities management companies aren't immune to this new AI-driven way of doing business. A recent study by PWC stated that "CEOs overwhelmingly say AI will significantly impact their business within the next five years (86 percent), and almost three- quarters (73 percent) believe it will be good for society. But that doesn't mean they are prepared to sit in the back seat of an autonomous vehicle just yet." 1 In the buildings industry, practitioners and operators alike are striving for a superior end- user experience in their building. They have lofty aspirations: from understanding the building to delivering services based on employees' personal preferences. That's where AI comes in; AI has to be at the heart of delivering these types of experiences. But what about us? What about the people who are currently running the buildings? Are we going to be out of a job? Will the future mean that we are all going to be replaced by robots and computer software? My short answer is "no." In fact, think about your day as it is today. Do you have enough time, people and budget to get through your daily to-do list? I think we all know the answer to that question. At IBM, we like to refer to AI as augmented intelligence, rather than artificial intelligence. That's because we see that instead of replacing roles, AI is actually augmenting job roles, making employees much more effective and productive. Consider just one building. Think about the amount of data that is being generated by the IoT (Internet of Things), HVAC systems, the BMS and the lighting systems. Now, factor in the people using the building, the weather, and other non-building variables. The "data generation" list for just that one building is almost endless, and the amount of data is growing exponentially. Finally, roll that up into all the buildings that you either own, lease or manage. There is simply just not enough time, budget or people to handle, compute and optimize it all, even if we continue to use existing data-mining and analytical methodologies. These large datasets need to be integrated together and processed. In short, they need AI. Practical application of ai in buildings Now let's examine how AI can provide that augmented intelligence for buildings. To begin with, AI helps autonomously integrate IoT devices and learn system and user behavior to optimize performance. Let's break it down into three core capabilities: • AI has the ability to provide insight by applying advanced analytics to near real- time data. This data can come from IoT sensors and instrumented devices and can be enriched with contextual information, from application programming interfaces (APIs) such as weather data. • AI has the ability to learn, reason with purpose, and interact naturally with humans through speech and text. An AI-infused building can learn normal operational patterns based on weather, occupancy and history. It can then autonomously identify and diagnose abnormal patterns and recommend an action to be executed by a human, robot or system. Because AI can continually learn, the recommendation is added to the knowledge base and its effectiveness will be used to further improve the future recommended actions. • AI has the ability to act and deploy changes to building operations within agreed- upon boundaries and delegations that are subject to human intervention and override. t he need for trust and responsibility Is there a downside to using AI in our buildings? There is often talk that AI solutions learn bias, for instance, and, well, this is true. But this bias doesn't just happen. People have control over what they train the models with. So it is our responsibility to ensure that we remove the bias. For example, we can start by making Meet AI, your new co-worker

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