Every wave of tech innovation has shown us that an engineering-only approach does not lead to operations success. In the middle are people in the form of customers, employees, and support.

Data and AI bring humans into the fold more readily, because we are the training data. Everything we do is data and, thus, so is everything we don’t.

In automated buildings, we could say technology will bring energy and operations efficiency. The real billion-dollar question with automated buildings (office space, retail space, and real estate) is when people are coming back after the pandemic? If they come back, then it's about saving energy to support the many humans in the buildings. If they are going to continue a remote or quasi-remote workforce, then it is about connectivity of devices and IT support for remote work.

Humans are the key to the success, and their decisions will contribute different kinds of data to the equation. All this leads to more data and intelligence from AI, calling for humans to engage further to play our role.

The only thing predictable about people is that they are unpredictable. How does that play into data to train AI to power personalization and operational efficiency of buildings or access assets across several industries? It offers complexity and more layers of metadata for the AI.

You Are the Training Data

We, as humans, are the training data as we cross the road in front of autonomous vehicles. We are the training data when we shop at a new location or a different time than our usual habit, triggering an anomaly condition.

We are training data when we go online to send an email or do a simple web search.

The portal to the future rests in our own hands. Every click, wave, breath, thought, and emotion is paving the future. You are training data, enjoy it.

Building the Future?

Don't forget, we are social beings. AI is built as training AI and iterated by testing with multiple stakeholders, each contributing their own questions and bias mitigation. We can build the future by just being present. Participate in team discussions to build AI to work for you. You will be contributing to reducing business risk by making AI smart and diverse by simply being part of the discussion.

And when we are all present, we will enter the portal to the future together.

This column first appeared in the August issue of automatedbuildings.com. See it in its entirety by clicking here.