The world has a complexity problem. We have been able to record and share information so efficiently that the pipeline of data seems to be limitlessly expansive. Take a building, for example. The modern office has information about its occupants from sensors in the building, granular data documenting every electrical circuit and water pipe, and real time metrics about the changing marketplace for its space. This data is valuable, of course, but is becoming so comprehensive that finding a grain of insight in a mountain of data can be a superhuman task.
Luckily, where technology has burdened us with this crush of info, it will ultimately be our savior. A recent revolution has come to computer science that is set to help us understand the world like never before. We now have computer code that doesn’t need us to tell it how to interpret data. Instead, these programs use a process called machine learning that identifies correlations and then writes code for another program that can then analyse data in a way that will produce a desired result.
The process itself is not new, testing hypotheses is part of what makes us human. Over the years we have refined the process into scientific method, a standard way of experimenting that is easily repeatable. It is, instead, the newfound scalability of the process that is truly revolutionary. Pedro Domingos is a professor of computer science at University of Washington and he wrote one of the definitive books on machine learning called The Master Algorithm. He explained the change happening in data science like this: “Machine learning is the scientific method on steroids. IT follows the same process of generating, testing, and discarding or refining hypotheses. But while a scientist may spend his or her whole life coming up with and testing a few hundred hypotheses, a machine-learning system can do the same in a faction of a second. Machine learning automates discovery.”
If Pedro is correct it means that we will be discovering insights at a pace like never before. This will bring on profounds changes in every aspect of our lives including how we work. It especially impacts the built world due to the large amounts of data that it already produces and the semi-permanence of any decisions made.
We are exploring the way that computing and technology is changing the way we interact with and monetize physical space at our next CRE.tech LIVE seminar on Oct. 9th in NYC called The Future of Work. We have brought together the technologists themselves to examine how every aspect of a modern workplace is being reexamined and redesigned using the new-found wisdom that technology provides.
The technological changes truly are impacting every aspect of our workplaces. From how we we organize and analyse our IoT data, as Jon Bolen from ENTOUCH will talk about, to how to automate back-end processes as we will hear from Michael Mullin of IBS. For those with large portfolios, Diane Vrkic from Waypoint will explain how new real time data and collaboration tools will change the way we understand commercial real estate assets.
How we work will be examined as well. We will hear JLL’s head of technology promotion Pushpa Gowda chat with Russell Olsen, facilities management consultant and adjunct professor at Pratt University. When I talked with Pushpa about what she sees as some of the big shifts in the way people work she told me, “With on-demand labor working alongside full time employees and as Baby Boomers retire, the war for talent has pushed workplace strategy to the forefront. Instead of just cutting costs, companies need workplaces that attract and retain talent, and inspire high performance.” Also, Glenn Hicks from iOffice will take a deep dive into embracing the digital workplace by examining how the conference room is emblematic of the digital decisions that need to be made in our workspaces.
Everything stems from design, especially when it comes to large buildings that can not be easily altered. Enabling connected spaces for innovative thinking and making has become a central concern of architects, designers, and entrepreneurs. To talk about what the future of the workplace will look like we have invited Diana Darling, Publisher of the The Architect’s Newspaper and Rachel Casanova, R/GA’s Managing Director, Connected Space. R/GA is at the forefront, collaborating with architects to craft these tech-heavy yet human-centric workspaces spaces.
We hope you will join us on Monday, Oct. 9th at 7:30AM in New York City when we kick off New York Real Estate Tech Week at this special Future of Work seminar.