Panel: Hannah David (Planning Futures) – Chair; Jared Crane MD, Agile Applications Ltd; Bridget Wilkins, Head of Digital Citizen Engagement DHLUC; Amena Matin, Head of Regeneration and Growth, LB Enfield.
The recent launch of ChatGPT has led many to wonder if we are at the start of a new technological revolution in artificial intelligence (AI). The chatbot’s ability to produce plausible and coherent – if not always accurate and insightful – text on a range of diverse topics, has raised prospect that many tasks currently undertaken by humans will soon be routinely performed by computers.
In the field of town and country planning, the search is already under way for AI based software to perform tasks currently undertaken by planners in the public and private sectors.
Last year, the Planning Inspectorate announced a deal with Oxford Global Projects UK to explore the potential of AI to enhance its operations, whilst the London Borough of Redbridge has experimented with the use of an AI enabled Chabot for planning applications.
Nevertheless, England’s planning system has been notably slow in adopting and rolling out new technologies, and the nature and trajectory of AI use in planning remains uncertain.
As we look to the future, this panel discussion will explore how AI is likely to transform planning in England over the course of the next decade. It will consider how local authorities could improve efficiency by outsourcing basic tasks to AI software and how applicants and their agents might
improve workflows by adopting new technologies.
It will also reflect on how planning itself will be transformed by new technologies and consider some
of the obstacles to adoption.