The news has been full of articles about the coming AI revolution. At COMPASS we have been using it in our platform for years, to predict what people will like when they are searching for properties, to predict who may be interested in selling, to categorize when you are setting up clients in the database, or when you are communicating with clients in bulk emails and the like.
The other day, I tried out their new ChatGPT to write a property description for a house when I was not my usual ebullient self, filled with adjectives to describe what is at heart a very normal, not terribly interesting house. The result was pretty amazing, and a little scary, as the computer had done what I could not bring myself to do- make a fairly ho-hum house sound like a little oasis from the madding crowds. I fed the machine a few salient details about the house, and it spent less than 20 seconds coming up with something I could have written myself if I had been in a better mood.
This fascinated and terrified me. A little later that day, I came upon a completely AI-created video from one of my realtor friends. He was looking directly into the camera and describing how this video had been made out of whole cloth by AI. He had not had to be present to create it, and it had worked off of two pictures he sent him of himself and a voice sample. it was completely realistic, and it even captured natural-looking facial expressions that were exactly like those of my colleague.
Now, this was going a little too far- what would stop people from creating completely artificial deep fake style videos of everything from themselves, to the houses they sell, to politicians and the like. it made me realize how far all of this could go. It has long been illegal in real estate to take out power lines or repair obvious visual damage with Photoshop, but without any oversight, agents will start to do this wholesale to get people online interested in properties. It would be human nature to want to make their properties and themselves look as good as possible- never mind morality, honesty, and truth in advertising...
It made me want to go back to real basics- what is genuinely important in a house sale. Like in anything, true communication is key. The thing AI can't do, no matter how good a simulacrum it can create, is to really be there. If you and your realtor have open and honest communication, the sky's the limit in what you can accomplish. And that is actual intelligence.