RIBA Issues Artificial Intelligence Survey Report

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2024


The Royal Institute of British Architects recently released the findings of a survey of over 500 RIBA members about artificial intelligence and what it means for the profession. Of those findings, reportedly almost half of United Kingdom architects are using AI to work on their projects.

According to the release, as new tech tools have become available over the past year to 18 months, there has been an increased intensity to the discussion about the future of AI and what it means for society and architecture.

“We are currently in an era marked by rapid technological advancement. Technology, for me, is a better way of doing things and that can involve tools or machines,” wrote RIBA President Muyika Oki. “Today, artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as the most disruptive tool of our time and its role in shaping the future of architecture cannot be overstated.”

The report includes findings regarding:

  • Current and future use of AI in the profession - what AI is used for in practice now and what applications it will have in the near future;
  • The opportunities AI offers the architecture and construction industries;
  • What risks might lie ahead; and
  • The ethical considerations of AI use in architecture.

RIBA adds that the survey findings are complemented by a series of articles from cross-sector experts, examining some of the key themes of AI and architecture.

“Within the architecture context, the choices we make about the use of AI will shape the character of our cities, the quality of our built environment and the well-being of future generations. In this context, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) plays a crucial role in guiding the discourse surrounding AI in architecture,” said Oki.

“By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and promoting dialogue among architects, technologists, policymakers and the public, we present a pioneering exploration into the intersection of AI and architecture. Helping us to collectively chart a course through the complexities of AI integration while championing ethical principles and human-centered design.”

Of those using AI in some way, 43% agree that AI has improved efficiency in the architectural design processes, while 24% disagree, the survey found. However, more respondents disagree (39%) that AI currently enhances accuracy in modelling and simulations than agree (26%). Only 11% agree that AI enhances the accuracy of specifications, while a majority (49%) disagree.

Only 24% reportedly agree they have successfully integrated AI into bid creation, project management or scheduling, while a substantial 48% disagree. In terms of environmental sustainability analysis, 21% agree that they have employed AI, while 46% disagree. This level of integration is set to rise in the near term.

RIBA found that just 7% agree that AI has led to staff reductions and 61% disagree, suggesting that AI adoption is not significantly affecting practice staff levels.

The institute says it will continue to monitor AI developments, as well as provide expert opinion and guidance about emerging and developing technology and the profession.

“As we confront these challenges, it is essential that we approach AI with a critical yet optimistic mindset, recognizing its potential to unlock new possibilities for innovation and creativity in architecture,” added Oki.

“By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and embracing a culture of responsible innovation, we can harness the power of AI to create more inclusive, resilient and sustainable built environments for all.”

To help steer the work, an expert advisory group has reportedly been formed and will build on the findings of the RIBA AI survey to look at the broader, ethical, professional practice and competitive implications of the widespread integration of advancing digital technologies within architects’ practice.

The full report can be downloaded here.

   

Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Asia Pacific; Commercial / Architectural; Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Industry surveys; Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); Technology; Z-Continents

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