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Lamar25 (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 - 10:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

With AI chatbots making inroads into many professions, would you include specs containing AI generated content in your work?

How would your clients react if they believed that your work contained chatbot generated content?
Melissa J Aguiar
Senior Member
Username: melissajaguiar

Post Number: 24
Registered: 09-2015
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 10:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

As long as my AI lawyer has tested them in the AI courts...

JK JK...
I would not.
Colin Gilboy
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 10:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I debated not approving this guest posting. I decided to approve it to start a discussion on Artificial Intelligence work in generating specs.
Colin Gilboy
Publisher, 4specs.com

Brian Payne
Senior Member
Username: brian_payne

Post Number: 310
Registered: 01-2014
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 10:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"AI content" is too generic for a quality conversation in my opinion. Do I want AI to review my project drawing keynotes, cross check them with master spec, and make recomendations? Absolutely?

Do I want AI to let me know that only 3 out of 4 manufactures that I specified can meet the performance requirements I listed? YES.

I would love for my specification software to supplement my expertise in a ton of similar ways and especially ones that I have never considered.
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1579
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Brian, trap doors:
1. No one is going to input that information into a useful tool to allow you to do that
2. It's a moving target
3. Manufacturers don't test to the same criteria let alone use the same test standards.
4. Your spec will need to correctly list the information that you want the tool to use for comparison purposes.
5. I know that VisiSpecs already checks content to ensure that cross referenced Sections are listed correctly. I think they can do that with keynotes as well but then your Revit users will need to start using the correct Families/UniFormat-based Assembly information so, yeah, good luck with that.

I can't usually get architects with masters degrees to understand the differences between products during CA. I don't know who would program your "AI" to be able to out-think humans; GIGO (BTW, it's still just machine learning. AI still does not exist despite what the propaganda says).
James Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 370
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 10:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

1+ for Brian Payne. It seems many of the currently available cloud-based specification writing software products can, or soon will, perform some of these functions. Today, AI is still BS IMO for the purpose of writing construction specifications. Give it XX years though (by which time I will probably be retired) and AI might be viable.

I also see its potential advantage in checking for code compliance and other regulatory issues based on proper input by humans.

Closing thought: At this time (or any time in the future) would you trust AI to select - not simply recommend - your business partner?
Melissa J Aguiar
Senior Member
Username: melissajaguiar

Post Number: 25
Registered: 09-2015
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Food for thought on the future. I hope to be retired by then myself when skynet takes shape.
Ronald L. Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 1622
Registered: 03-2003

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 11:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A colleague at CSI used ChatGPT to create a construction specification for brick paving. It used the correct MasterFormat number and title, and it was in three parts with appropriate articles in each. However, the paragraphs were not numbered. It was very limited in content (a water-downed shortform spec) but used the indicative mood.

It was a close approximation to a proper specification--something similar to a typical manufacturer guide specification (which is probably where it derived its "intelligence").

As Brian pointed out, AI could be a good research tool, but it falls short of replacing an experienced specifier.
Ron Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Brian Payne
Senior Member
Username: brian_payne

Post Number: 311
Registered: 01-2014
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 11:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ken: There are a ton of traps, but getting back to the OP question, would I use AI generated content in my Specs. Yes. Would I let it write the spec for me? Nope.

Upcodes for example is doing great work with AI code research. Its a great tool to supplement my efforts.

Midjourney is not going to design my buildings, but it can take a massing model and previous renderings we have done and render a project in our style based on prompts. A great tool to have in your toolbelt.

Bring on the AI (I agree it's really ML) spec tools.
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1919
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 11:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Since AI is based on a large language model, it is only as good as the websites it can scrape for the database that it uses to generate content. The sites are selected by the companies developing the AI tools, and this is not the entire web. So, it is sucking in the content generated by some manufacturers, bloggers, etc., and most likely many iffy providers. This is the basic problem with AI, in that our society's biases are permanently baked into the results that come back to us. The really top-notch stuff that experienced specifiers would go to are likely behind paywalls or otherwise inaccessible to chat engines; or just not included in the source materials that AI makers set up. Could there be a few things it is useful for? Probably, if you think of it as a hyped-up search engine, but one would need to exercise normal (or maybe a higher level) of due diligence.
Melissa J Aguiar
Senior Member
Username: melissajaguiar

Post Number: 26
Registered: 09-2015
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 12:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am not trying to be a naysayer on AI thought/usage. I am currently on project looking at panic devices installed incorrectly across a midrail, and it was a systemic failure of communication IRL. Specs and CDs were not the issue. It was human miscommunication. I would love to see AI being used, but we will always need a human knowledge manager to ensure work gets done correctly.
Ronald L. Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 1623
Registered: 03-2003

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 12:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To John's point, we are beginning to discuss the issue of AI and how it may impact owner-architect agreements. Since AI uses available information, there could be the potential for copyright violations.

AI doesn't do anything different than what we already do: look through available resources to extract requested information. However, AI looks at an unquantifiable number of resources and does it much faster, but with a limited filter on quality and...ownership.
Ron Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 765
Registered: 12-2002

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 04:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Just sat through AIA Contract Documents Committee presentation on this topic. They have a subject matter expert on board. They've reached the same conclusions as above but continue to look at where there may emerge some applications that would be useful to architectural practice in general, such as standardized contract terminology, analysis of data bases of change order components, etc. Interesting, but not something we'll be dropping everything to get involved with. BTW catch this presentation if you get a chance: the part about all the flim-flam advertising and click bait articles is quite amusing.
SpecGuy Specifications Consultants
Jeffrey Potter
Senior Member
Username: jpotter

Post Number: 46
Registered: 02-2017
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - 06:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

AI / ML applications today won't replace an experienced design professional, but what they can be an asset. They can write 3-part specifications. Are they USABLE, no, but are they a great starting place, in most cases, YES. Think how a ChatGPT of the word could open the door to a less experienced individual writing specifications and what it could offer.

These tools do great comparisons. They also, given the right input, can provide recommendations on products to begin research on.

At the end of the day, its the design professional's stamp on the line, so its up to them on how they want to utilize these tools. But we would be silly to push these tools away and not learn how to properly use them today.
Alex Haskell (she/her)
Senior Member
Username: alexhaskell

Post Number: 9
Registered: 04-2023

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2023 - 03:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Somewhere I saw a webpage that would instantly write an entire news article about nothing, every time you refresh the page. It was complete with [#] footnotes and everything. There were people's names, all of which appeared realistic but were completely fake upon trying to look them up, and the footnotes were non-existent works but which also looked completely legitimate at a glance.

If construction spec writing employs this sort of nonsense, the design professionals might not notice it, but the contractors would know it very quickly.

I personally would not trust AI generated text for specs at all. One of the biggest problems the profession faces is people not understanding that master specification text is just example text so they use it blindly. With AI generated text you would get tons and tons more of this but without the brain of the master specification editor ever even being involved.

Here's a new way to waste time, by testing whether you can detect AI generated text. https://roft.io/
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2023 - 12:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

@Alex Haskell,

I donít think the link you posted is a time waster, at least not to the chat bot. The very carefully targeted feedback required with each answer appears to be coaching the algorithm on how to better conceal itself. Giving it information is painting a picture of how you're recognizing its mistakes.

Unless you want to hasten Skynet becoming self-aware, donít tell it how youíre detecting the AI content.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1478
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 07:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

the recent (last weekend) Master Specifier's Retreat had speakers on AI for their technical presentations, and gave some happening-now examples (Amazon suggesting that I read a book; Target sending you an email about something). I went into the presentations extremely skeptical but now I'm starting to see a few possibilities.
I absolutely agree with the consensus here in that an AI generated spec might be a good way to start, but it needs the experienced professional to take it the rest of the way and coordinate it with the rest of the work.
Nathan Woods, RA, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 916
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 07:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Not sure how many of you dive into the Bldg Code, but UpCodes.com has just released their AI driven "Co-Pilot" feature, and its pretty interesting. I have had mixed results with it, but it certainly seems promising.
David Stutzman
Senior Member
Username: david_stutzman

Post Number: 92
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2023 - 04:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There are some very smart researchers at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab trying to understand how to prevent some from intentionally training AI to provide incorrect results. They demonstrated an example. AI correctly identified objects in a room, including humans. The AI was trained to identify objects incorrectly when a specific target was introduced. When the only change was the target, the person was identified as a teddy bear. Now what happens when AI is trained incorrectly to identify a traffic stop sign as a speed limit sign? Think about who may be controlling the training and what underlying purpose there may be. How would incorrect training be detected and corrected?
Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 1059
Registered: 01-2003

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2023 - 02:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How would you know?
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1583
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2023 - 04:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


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