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Artificial Intelligence & Real Estate

Artificial Intelligence & Real Estate

As we gear up towards ASDAiRE, I felt it was important to assess the state of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as it pertains to security. A lot of articles have been published lately about the employees at Amazon, Google and Microsoft staging protests in opposition to their companies working with the Department of Defense and the sale of facial recognition software to law enforcement. The fear is that AI will be used as a weapon of war or police surveillance and cause more harm than good. As a result of these protests, Google dropped a $10 Billion bid to build the Pentagon’s cloud computing project.

DARPA which is the research arm of the US Department of Defense, has allocated over $2 Billion dollars to fund and promote AI related Ventures. Apparently what Google and Microsoft reject, plenty more will pick up.

This poses a vexing question, should tech companies work with the government or not when it comes to AI? Historically a lot of innovation has come from government sponsored research. The US military first used drone technology, cell phones, GPS, the internet, semi conductors and the list goes on and on before it was commercialized. Private sector funded innovation has to be commercially viable within a short timeframe to continue getting capital whereas government funded research can take decades before any meaningful results are witnessed but still keep receiving funding. 

The view in some AI circles is that a lot more resources are needed to reach the full potential of AI and therefore funding from the public sector is needed.

Regardless of where you land on the debate, we think this has some applicability in the real estate context because one of the main AI innovations at issue is facial recognition. This is a big security tool that may be applied in commercial buildings but also has several privacy implications. An early test case is the Marriott hotel which has implemented facial recognition to check in their guests at one of the properties in China in partnership with Alibaba.

Should landlords use facial recognition as a security feature for their employees or guests entering their buildings? Would it save time? How accurate would the data be? 

If and when there is mass adoption of facial recognition, how will the government regulate this? There are so many questions but it’s a very exciting topic that has big implications for real estate professionals. 

As such, we can’t wait to cover this topic and much more at ASDAiRE on February 13th, 2019 at The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, NY. Get your early bird tickets @

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