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The software architect role is new enough that there is considerable debate about what constitutes the role. A superb example is that played by James Madison, architect of the U.S. Constitution.
A simplistic view of the role is that architects create architectures, and their responsibilities encompass all that is involved in doing so. This would include articulating the architectural vision, conceptualizing and experimenting with alternative architectural approaches, creating models and component and interface specification documents, and validating the architecture against requirements and assumptions.