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Digital Technology - Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence (AI) is often articulated as a computer with the ability to ‘think for itself’ or, at the very least, provide fast and accurate answers and solutions to questions and problems. IBM has been working on AI for almost 40 years and the latest iteration “Watson” is a great leap forward. Famously on the US Game show Jeopardy! Watson beat two (human) world champions. By divining the meaning of cryptically-worded questions and finding the correct answers, Watson demonstrated an ability to understand natural language – the most significant hurdle for computers to overcome.

Effective applications of AI for business use to date have been more elusive. For the legal profession, using Watson to classify thousands of court cases to work up precedents for cases could be done in a matter of seconds – as opposed to hours for law clerks and paralegals. The capabilities of Watson are now being applied to the medical profession to globally cross reference case studies, diagnostics and research.


Once the full capabilities of AI are available, routine tasks in professions such as law, accounting, health, media, marketing, finance, architecture, education and science are all set to be transformed. This means the more efficient deployment of resources to generate higher rates of return whilst existing resources work on higher value tasks, cost reduction and increased productivity.

In an AI world, many tasks routinely conducted in office space by human beings will be completed in a data centre or cloud, forever changing the face of commercial real estate needs.

To learn what’s next in artificial intelligence and what it means for commercial property contact Tony Crabb, National Director, Research.

Read more of Cushman & Wakefield’s Futurology series, click here.