Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Architects?
In recent years artificial intelligence has changed the workforce. Restaurants have started using machines that can take orders instead of waitresses, insurance companies are using it to provide quotes on premiums, and hospitals are considering it as a method for diagnosis. As artificial intelligence becomes alarmingly popular the important question gets asked - can it actually replace a human?
Architecture firm Gramazio & Johler was intrigued by the quick processing speeds of AI and developed a robotic arm that can creatively stack bricks. Using a program, the architect can dictate how the machine will lay the bricks and it will precisely lay the bricks in a stable pattern. Though this tool eliminates the use of a mason, the precision and speed from the robot allows for more design potential from the architect.
In addition to robotic arms being used to enhance the industry, some have also explored the use of 3D printing. The first 3D printed house was completed in just 45 days and unveiled in China. While this again replaces the need for construction workers, using this technology poses no threat to the architect since designs are required for the printing process.
So can artificial intelligence replace a human? Well, the answer is yes and no. Pete Baxter suggests that architects shouldn't fear AI. He explains that while you can use it to automate, you aren't going to get exciting architecture in return. So unlike other industries that have been completely overtaken by AI, most of the robotics that are used in architecture are used to assist the architect rather than replace them.