Artificial intelligence (AI) is receiving widespread coverage in the media at the moment. On the one hand, people are marvelling at the apparent wonders of ChatGPT, while on the other people are asking what untrammelled AI might mean for jobs and human agency (notwithstanding the theoretical creation of artificial general intelligence [AGI] and/or fears of an AI ‘singularity’).
Our special feature on AI considers the potential role of AI in housing, with some fantastic contributions to the discussion from Civica, Converse360, Made Tech, Mobysoft, NEC Software Solutions, Orlo and Riverside Group.
Aside from how housing providers might choose to use AI for both internal and external activities, three areas stand out in the article.
The first is that lots and lots of high-quality data is needed for AI to work beyond ‘mere’ chatbots and virtual admins. ChatGPT and other large-language model (LLM) AIs depend on having access to truly enormous bodies of data in order to generate realistic, accurate and useful outputs.
The second area is that AI is not a panacea; it is a tool whose efficacy depends on how (and why) it’s deployed and how it is then trained, supervised and monitored to make sure that the AI’s outputs are factual, consistent and unbiased as well as remaining bounded by regulatory and privacy considerations.
The third and final area is that housing staff shouldn’t be afraid of AI. In the same way that AI is already being used by most housing providers to do the ‘grunt work’ around their cybersecurity provision, so too will AI relieve housing staff from dealing with mundane, repetitive tasks and instead freeing up their time for more fulfilling and useful activities.