Lately we have seen a growth in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where machines are taught to carry out human behaviours such as decision making and pattern/trend recognition. In 2016, AI companies received over $5bn in funding from investors and with the advent of home systems such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Alexa; it seems its widespread adoption is inevitable. However, AI does have its detractors, with Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warning people about “a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind”.
Regardless of whether AI turns out to be a saint or a sinner, it does have a number of potential uses within buildings. AI uses algorithms to process the data it receives and looks for patterns and trends. The more information it receives and the scenarios it experiences, the better it gets at predicting outcomes and making decisions. Rather like the Nest thermostat, which learns usage patterns within the home such as preferred settings, timings and space occupancy trends, to create its own schedule that cuts energy use and optimises the way users heat their homes.