Last week we wrote about generative design and how we need to develop tools to manage the complexity of computational design solutions. Luckily, lean methodologies give us a head start on that thinking. We did receive some comments that asked whether the appropriate approach is through set-based design or choosing-by-advantages. Pick your term – the problem doesn't change, and in reality, we're charting new ground with these computational BIM methods. We're also really happy no one corrected our math.
The term "artificial intelligence" has been bandied about with increasing frequency in recent months, so it's no wonder that people are starting to ask, "What, exactly, constitutes AI?" In a recent article from The Verge, James Vincent breaks it down. Neural networks, machine learning, and deep learning… The most interesting note in there: "As soon as machines have conquered a task that previously only humans could do — whether that's playing chess or recognizing faces — then it's no longer considered to be a mark of intelligence."
When will we get to converse with our robot pals? Not for a while yet. (Source: The Verge)
The New York Times agrees with this assessment. They see AI technology, like most technology, as something that needs time to find its real potential, noting that "commercializing new technology, however promising, typically comes in short steps rather than giant leaps." While companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Google have made great advancements in the field, the quest for a truly sentient machine is still decades away.
Watson still has a long learning curve ahead. (Source: The New York Times)
Virtual reality is making leaps and bounds, and not just in gaming. Construction Dive reports that VR technology will "transform the construction industry." That's a big claim for an industry that is notoriously resistant to new technology. But as more and more of the AEC industry adopts BIM methods, VR is a logical step. Michael Gonzales of McCarthy Building Companies points out, "Not everyone can think in three dimensions. An owner may have a vision for a project and tell you what they want it to look like, but virtual design will bring the owner's vision to life." Not only will VR allow a client to visualize their space before building even begins, but potential problems can be recognized and avoided, potentially saving huge amounts of time and money.
"See" the building before there is a building. (Source: Construction Dive)
Like AI and virtual reality, the applications of 3D printing seem limitless. The folks at Contour Crafting see a future in which traditional building methods and materials are replaced by machine-generated materials. "Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, embedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning." They especially see the potential for its use in emergency housing, something of particular interest to those of us residing in disaster-prone areas.
Soon building a new home may be just a matter of picking your design and hitting Print! (Source: OpenMind)
While we're waiting for our houses to print, perhaps we can have a little fun with the dog. It's obvious this guy isn't a big fan of robotics. Perhaps his automated foe just isn’t smart enough yet.
Has Fido met his match? (Source: jurvestonYouTube)