CBRE EA BLOG Deconstructing CRE

What do advances in automation promise for office demand?

Jan 19, 2017, 08:34 AM by Tim Savage

Though it never emerged as a topic for discussion in the 2016 U.S. election, automation is suddenly making headlines in business and finance news reporting. For a superb, succinct summary of the state of robotics and machine learning, see this recent story in UCLA’s The Daily Bruin. In a recent ViewPoint, I address the broad issue of automation permanently displacing certain types of workers, and what implications that might hold for commercial real estate. Automation of physical tasks has been an ever-present feature of economic development for generations, as well as an important factor in the marked improvement of living standards over that time. Automation of intellectual tasks—which impacts the demand for office space directly—may be different.

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