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The future of the quantity surveyor

The industry and the profession are at an inflection point and not for the first time, the quantity surveyor is having to adapt to a changing world and new challenges. However, quantity surveyors must remain loyal to their traditional skills and in particular their expertise to interpret large amounts of data, whether in digital or traditional formats. That's not to say that new expertise should not be added to the quantity surveyor's locker.Today the opportunities for quantity surveyors are particularly exciting as they are better equipped, to provide clients with insight and analysis that transforms the performance of projects and programmes.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one example. In the 1990's the RICS, in collaboration with the University of Salford, developed a so called 'Expert System'. At the heart of this system was an inference engine which was claimed to mimic human reasoning. The engine contained eminent experts views on, for example, which procurement path was suited to a particular project. The engine required regular evolutionary maintenance to keep it up to date. Fast forward thirty years and AI is able to draw on vast quantities of contemporaneous material, consider the 'what if question' and provide an accurate and reliable advice.

Duncan Cartlidge FRICS

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