Hello, everyone. Time for our weekly roundup of articles at the intersection of building information modeling (BIM); artificial intelligence (AI); and the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space. Here goes:
And the AI has it... Google's AlphaGo officially beat the world Go champion last week in Seoul, South Korea, but it wasn't a sweep: Lee Sedol managed to win Game Four with an unexpected and "brilliant" move from which the AlphaGo system was unable to recover. "It was not a move that AlphaGo expected any human to make, and with the very next move, the machine made a fateful mistake. Within minutes, after analyzing the state of the game, AlphaGo decided that its chances of winning had plummeted... And eventually, it resigned." Granted, the machine won the other four games, but it's interesting to note that it made a mistake and later realized its own defeat. If that's not a marker of intelligence, what is?
Is BIM more than just the future of building? Global Construction Reviewsuspects it might be the future of building management as well. Author David Rogers sees the possibility for turning the BIM process into a service model for building maintenance; something along the lines of SaaS for structures. "In music, downloads and streaming services have laid waste to the market for physical media such as compact discs (remember those?), while in air travel, engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce no longer sells engines, but flying time." It stands to reason, then, that the concept of "Buildings-as-a-Service" is not completely out of left field.
Such comprehensive BIM models will soon be created with even better software. Check out what Anthony Hauck and Autodesk's AEC Generative Design group are doing with Project Fractal. Part of the larger Project Akaba, the team is using generative design to revolutionize space planning in design and architecture. "We had to start thinking about accommodating varying conditions, goals, and constraints in a way that would allow designers to conserve and apply their expertise to generate a whole range of options to investigate and develop." They take care of the function so designers are free to focus on form.
With GDC taking place in San Francisco this week, virtual reality (VR) is bound to continue making headlines. A few weeks back we wrote about the challenges of adopting VR in AEC, and it appears we're not alone in our assessment. Arch Daily also sees VR as revolutionary for architects and designers, and at Carrier Johnson + Culture they are creating ways to use that technology free of the keyboard and mouse. "New tools, as complex as wearable sensors or as simple as tablet screens, can capture design data from freeform hand movements. In this way, we craft shapes and spaces using our hands, akin to a sculptor at work, with these new gestural modeling tools." Not only will we soon be able to walk through a space before it's even built, but these new tools will allow us to shape the site from the very outset.
Ready to check out more great technology? The Con App Guru attended the 2016 AGC Convention last week and gave a rundown of his favorite new apps. From organizing workflow to eliminating paper time sheets, he has the info on all the best new tools.