Speaking at the recent ECLAS (European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools) held at the University of Greenwich in London, Peter Wilder presented on the arrival of new technology and its implications for the land planning sector. The convergence of Big Data, Cloud Processing, Global Information and Positioning Systems and smartphone technology have put unprecedented power in the hands of designers, engineers, architects and planners. The technology is so powerful that it will render some parts of the profession redundant whilst revolutionising others. Alarmingly we may find ourselves saturated in data and have to rely on intelligent filtering networks or interfaces that enable us to select the most relevant information. It is this requirement that will usher in the age of artificial intelligence where computer algorithms decide what is relevant to us. To a certain extent, this is already happening, as our search engines tailor their results to our search history and recommend purchases to us based on our shopping habits.
"Whilst we might not see designers easily replaced in the next generation" Wilder concludes, "the environment in which they work will alter radically".