AI software has publicly exploded in the creative industry. With AI art generators and code creators aiming to take over jobs, that’s where the focus is. However, working in the background, real estate AI programs are also proving to be a huge danger for everyone.
In recent years, real estate prices have skyrocketed, leaving owning houses as a possibility only for those with pre-established wealth. Landlords own houses to buy more houses, and renters stay renters as house prices continue to soar.
Using AI, the price of houses is set to continue its upward trajectory, pricing everything up until its breaking point. But how are these real estate AI programs affecting the general person?
In an essay by Surviving Tomorrow, a detailed breakdown of an AI algorithm known as YieldStar was given. Created by RealPage, the algorithmic tool is designed as a “Real Estate Asset Management” tool that allows landlords to maximise rent from customers.
According to the essay, YieldStar analyses data on a homeowner’s properties and the local area to push rent up to the highest possible amount. This leads to increased rent by double-digit percentage as the real estate AI program aims to drain everything from renters.
In an interview with ProPublica, a YieldStar developer explained that human leading agents are less efficient than AI. The developer claimed that human workers have “too much empathy”, stopping landlords from exploiting renters as much as possible.
Speaking to a user of the software, it was confirmed that the AI tool is helping landlords break boundaries for raising rent.
“Very few of us would be willing to actually raise rents double digits within a single month by doing it manually,” a landlord said. “The beauty of YieldStar is that it pushes you to go places that you wouldn’t have gone if you weren’t using it.”
As the essay points out, the creation of YieldStar furthers the contemporary neo-feudalistic economy of home ownership. By pushing the price of rent to its breaking point, current generation renters will never be able to afford their own homes. Instead, only landlords, celebrities or the upper-middle class will be able to buy homes.
As AI algorithms continue to breach into every single sector, more businesses will start to squeeze every single penny they can put if customers. But where is the breaking point? And will we hit it?