This is a guest post by Matthew Douglas
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Zweig: Minds and Machines Conference in Nashville, TN. The conference was a very interesting, in-depth look into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and the inevitable impact its implementation will have in our industry. It might come as a bit of a shock but at this very moment, there are already 60,000-plus AI companies across the globe, with over 18,000 founded in the United States. That’s a huge amount!
But even more, that just means that AI is already here — if you haven’t seen it yet, you will see it very, very soon. Now in the AEC space, we may feel a bit disconnected from it, but it will certainly infiltrate our industry — and, in fact, it already has, although not in mass consumption yet. We publish a podcast focused on this topic at EMI, the AEC Engineering Technology Podcast.
So to start us off, let’s do a brief overview of what was discussed at the conference. We’ll start off with a session entitled AI 101. This session summarized which AI technologies were on the menu to be discussed at the conference, a brief look at the current applications in the AEC space, and ideas of where we can see ourselves in the foreseeable future.
Another session took a deeper dive into the various sectors of AEC and how AI is currently molding its way into different use cases. Nvidia, for instance, is currently working on a 3D modeling application to rival the likes of industry titans like Autodesk and Bentley. Interestingly enough, this software will reach over into the asset management/public infrastructure industry too, once geolocation services are added into the mix (which will challenge companies like ESRI and Trimble). In addition, Autodesk is coming out with a platform called Forma, which will be a cloud-based software for early-stage planning and design.