Housing and You
Artificial intelligence is already transforming the housing and real estate sectors, from both the buyer's, seller's, and agency's perspectives. For the prospective homeowner, machine learning has made finding the right house a faster and easier process. By analyzing search patterns, AI algorithms are getting better at suggestions more desirable properties. As we see in other industries, virtual assistants or chatbots are being enlisted by real estate agencies and aggregators to help customers find what they're looking for.
Algorithms are also vastly improving the predictive aspects of real estate. Since real estate is a highly volatile and unpredictable industry, AI can be useful in analyzing data to make predictions about property value. Realtors are using AI to help them set property prices by looking at the relationship between data and property desirability rather than more human evaluations such as intuition or personal experience.
As for the marriage of AI and affordable housing, there's still a long ways to go towards an equitable relationship. The aforementioned algorithms, while useful, come with a slew of unconscious biases written into the code that tends to favor certain demographics over others in evaluating tenants and potential owners.
When assessing tenant application data, AI algorithms may reject applicants based on unintended connections between data sets; living in a low-income neighborhood may be correlated with an inability to pay rent, for instance. AI bias continues to be a significant threat to communities of color, and the real estate industry is no exception.