Will Robots Replace Real Estate Photographers?

AI robot photographer

AI and robotics are advancing at an unprecedented rate. But, will robots eventually replace real estate photographers?

The Rapid Growth of AI

Experts like Geoffrey Hinton, often referred to as the Godfather of AI, believe that in as little as five years, AI may surpass human reasoning capabilities.

This rapid progression towards Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) could revolutionize many industries, including real estate photography.


Emerging Robotics Companies

One of the companies at the forefront of robotics innovation is Figure.ai, founded by Brett Adcock. Recently featured on 60 Minutes, Figure.ai is making significant strides in developing robots capable of performing complex tasks.

With funding from NVIDIA, Figure.ai is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in robotics.

Figure.ai Robot Demo


NVIDIA’s groundbreaking GPU technology has been pivotal in advancing AI by enabling the rapid processing of massive amounts of data. These GPUs perform quadrillions of calculations per second, providing the computational power necessary to train complex AI models.

This capability is especially beneficial for robotics companies like Figure.ai, which leverage AI to teach robots.


The Gap Between AI and Real Estate Photography

Despite these advancements, there remains a significant gap between AI capabilities and the requirements of real estate photography.

Current AI technology struggles with relatively simple tasks like virtual staging, often producing errors and limitations as detailed in our recent article.

Moreover, real estate videos created by AI from 3D tours lack the style and engagement that human photographers provide. These AI-generated videos tend to be monotonous and unwatchable.

The Human Element in Art and Photography

Art is deeply rooted in human creativity and emotion. Music, humor, and other forms of art resonate with us specifically because they are created by humans.

For instance, watching a deep fake video of Dave Chappelle doing comedy may demonstrate technical prowess, but it lacks the genuine human touch that makes comedy engaging.

Real estate photography involves capturing the essence of a home in a way that evokes emotional responses. This human element is irreplaceable.

As we discussed in our recent article about customer service in real estate photography, making clients feel special and building relationships are crucial aspects of the job that robots cannot replicate.

The Future Possibilities of Robotics

The Law of Accelerating Returns, popularized by futurist Ray Kurzweil, suggests that technological progress is exponential. Considering this law, it is reasonable to assume that technology will soon accelerate to the point of achieving AGI. At that stage, we may see robots capable of performing complex home services like real estate photography.

But to get there, a major breakthrough is still needed, as current large language models like ChatGPT are still far from achieving AGI.

While it could be more than 10 years before the next major breakthrough, some AI experts, including Elon Musk and Geoffrey Hinton, believe it could happen much sooner.

However, even if robots can take professional-quality photos within a few years, it would still take additional time before these robots become commercially viable. The robots would not only have to meet the same quality standards as human photographers but also the cost of building and training these robots would need to decrease dramatically.

This significant reduction in costs is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Robot and human working together

Balancing Technology and Human Touch

While AI and robotics are making impressive strides, the unique human touch in real estate photography is irreplaceable—for now.

In the short term, we can expect continued AI powered automation in photo editing, virtual staging, and property data collection. But the emotional and creative elements provided by human photographers remain essential.

As technology continues to evolve, we must balance embracing advancements with preserving the human aspects that make art truly special.

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