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Internet of Things
Internet of Things Updates

Cognitive Computing and the Global Building Industry

Posted by Terry Beaubois, Guest Columnist

Dec 19, 2016 12:04:46 PM

How AI and IoT are transforming where we live.

The building industry is one of the oldest: dating back at least 6,000 years as soon as we started creating settlements and communities. It is also one of the most pervasive with the global construction industry expected to be worth $10.3 trillion by 2020.

My interest in applying cognitive computing to the global building industry began with my consulting work with NASA in the late 1970’s — early 1980’s. The topics at that time included Space Station Design; Artificial Intelligence; Virtual Reality (called Telepresence at the time) and telerobotics; early Mars Rover technology (connecting video camera imagery with computer analyses) and design of a Research Lab module for the U.S. Space Shuttle.

One key piece of research being done at Ames Research Center during these years involved the development of HUD (Heads Up Display) of cognitive information to improve human performance in mission-critical environments — specifically flying a jet plane, a commercial airline, or a space vehicle.

The high-level need for the timely delivery (or just-in-time) of information to the human operator, was the issue of the NASA research and solution development. Research undertaking the collecting of cognitive data and then designing the delivery mechanism to aid pilots in real-time situations, who could benefit from the display of the information collected in thousands of simulator flights of pilots. The information they needed and might otherwise have to look down at the instrument panel to see, was displayed at visual infinity and they became more efficient pilots, as a direct result.

Applying cognitive technology similar to the airline pilot scenario, to a number of other professional circumstances can and will change how humans and computers work together to further improve human performance in business enterprise-mission-critical situations.

My focus is on the opportunities in the Global Building Industry for the application of Cognitive Computing to increase efficiencies and and the overall effectiveness of the global building industry. Cognitive computing will also be a significant component in developing an Ecosystem for the Internet of Things (IoT) in the global building industry.

Terry with the Architecture School at Andhra University, India

In the field of manufacturing, the new IBM Cognitive Advantage study shows that cognitive initiatives most commonly lead to improved decision making and planning (for 64% of respondents). Success in this area is predicated on the availability of skills. This is something I’m addressing with my work at Stanford and in my continuing work with Building Product Manufacturers in the Global Building Industry. In the same study 54% of respondents point to the skills gap as a top gating factor in the adoption of cognitive technologies.

Cognitive in the Building Industry:

Every aspect of the building industry can benefit from the remarkable capabilities of cognitive computing. Done correctly, a new ecosystem of cognitive information for the building industry emerges — like IBM has already done in the field of medicine. This would cover:

  • Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Planning
  • Design and Engineering
  • Building Products (inlc. selection and configuration)
  • Gov’t Agency Review and Approval
  • Construction
  • Facility Management
  • Insurance

To put this in perspective, PwC predicts that the global building industry will be a $14.5 billion industry by 2030, led by the countries of India, China, and the US.

Those who are the leaders in their own areas of the global building industry — the early adopters of cognitive computing — will also be the ones to benefit early from implementing it. To this end, Building Knowledge Systems LLC (BKSco.com) has been created to advance the use of the latest technology in the building industry.

Current Work:

My own research, application, and teaching of cognitive in the global building industry is in support of the area of Smart Communities with a current, specific application to the research, planning and design of Smart Villages in India. Interest has already been expressed in bringing this work to other countries.

About Terry Beaubois

Terry A. Beaubois is a professional Architect with 40 years of experience in building design, based in Silicon Valley and Bozeman, Montana. His work includes the Montana ecoSMART House Project (Montana USGBC Honor Award 2015).

A graduate of the University of Michigan College of Architecture & Design, Terry has guest lectured and taught in conferences and universities in Europe, Asia, and throughout the US.

He is currently teaching at Stanford University School of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Urban Systems. He is also CEO Building Knowledge Systems LLC (BKS).

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