Nick Dunn, head of commercial in Norwich for Brown&Co, discusses artificial intelligence in the workplace. 

There has been much in the news this week about concerns over the threat of artificial intelligence (AI), with prime minister Rishi Sunak currently setting up a regulation taskforce.

At its core, AI is a machine learning tool. What this means is that it learns from experiences and, in this way, emulates human learning.

Among the major concerns is the ability for AI to process and interpret huge volumes of data. As with all IT, output is only as good as the data that is input. Bad or inaccurate data will lead to inaccurate responses from AI technology, and advancements may magnify the scale of automated decision-making that is biased – leading to an exponential increase in the volume and spread of misinformation.

Then there is the risk to jobs from AI’s abilities to replace a human workforce. Access to buildings can now use facial recognition, improving security but also removing the need for keycodes, keys and a staffed reception.

Eastern Daily Press: Nick Dunn, head of commercial, Norwich at Brown&CoNick Dunn, head of commercial, Norwich at Brown&Co (Image: Brown&Co)

However, some of AI’s capabilities have clear advantages within commercial real estate (CRE). AI technology in commercial buildings learns simple things such as when to turn down air conditioning and when to turn off lights – things that will make the use of the building more efficient and environmentally friendly, as well as saving money.

There are many other facets of the CRE industry which will be impacted by AI, and I have no doubt with time these will become more embedded in the commercial property world.

I wholeheartedly support the view that the AI industry needs to be properly regulated. I firmly believe there will always be a place for proper face-to-face, human-to-human contact between experienced property professionals, who intrinsically understand the nuances of the market and clients in what after all is a very people-oriented industry.

You can contact Nick Dunn, head of commercial, Norwich at Brown&Co on 01603 629871.