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Welcome to the future of real estate, where artificial intelligence (AI) takes centre stage as your new virtual real estate agent. Forget about the need for physical visits; now, a bot armed with powerful AI algorithms can predict a property’s price with remarkable accuracy based on visual assessments. Inspire Legal Group, a leading solicitor in North Yorkshire, can assist you with commercial and residential property.

Traditionally, real estate agents combined data with in-person visits to evaluate properties comprehensively. They considered factors like building layout, comparable property prices, and neighbourhood amenities. Visual cues from the street-level, such as potholes, storefronts, and the local crowd, offered critical insights, especially in identifying upcoming neighbourhoods.

Enter visual AI, which can analyse vast amounts of data on a larger scale. For instance, researchers at MIT trained a real estate bot using images of 20,000 houses around Boston, coupled with data on how their prices changed over time. By employing deep learning, the AI model identified correlations between visual features and changes in property values. When structural details and neighbourhood amenities were factored in, the algorithm made highly accurate predictions.

The potential expands further. Recent research using 27 million street view images across the US found that visual AI effectively predicts aspects of a neighbourhood’s profile, including poverty, crime, and public health. The next frontier could involve applying the same analysis to interiors using publicly-accessible images from real estate websites and social media.

While algorithms like Zillow’s “Zestimate” have already transformed the industry, there are risks. Over- and undervaluation biases, potentially affecting racial minorities, are concerns. Algorithmic missteps, like Zillow’s “Offers” service, have demonstrated the risks of unbridled reliance on AI in real estate.

Moreover, there’s the danger of predictions turning into self-fulfilling prophecies. As visual AI becomes more prevalent, there’s the risk of people adapting their properties to meet AI preferences, envisioning a future where everyone repaints their homes to impress the Google Street View Car.

The time for deciding the role of these technologies has passed; it’s now about effective regulation and experimentation. While having multiple bots may prevent undue influence from a single algorithm, the responsibility lies with us to interpret and guide the new insights provided by silicon eyes. Visual AI can predict much about the world, but it’s up to humans to imagine and create a better one. Welcome to a future where your property’s worth is just a click away, guided by the eyes of AI.

Natalie Foster – Owner

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