Constructing with Intelligence: How Autodesk AI Helps You Be More Efficient

Autodesk construction cloud and artificial intelligence AI

The construction industry is no stranger to big changes. Whether it’s the proliferation of BIM, the shift to digital plans and documents over paper, or the rise of mobility and cloud collaboration, transformation has been part of the industry’s DNA over the last few decades.  

Every big change has certainly come with its challenges, but the construction industry has successfully overcome these pain points to advance processes and achieve new levels of efficiency.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) is unarguably the next frontier of technological advancement for the construction industry. Autodesk's latest State of Design and Make research reveals that 66% of leaders say AI will become essential to their businesses within the next 2-3 years. Furthermore, according to insights from Accenture and Frontier Economics, the construction industry could witness remarkable profit growth—estimated at 71%—through AI integration over the next ten years.  

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While the idea of an AI-powered industry can feel overwhelming for many, the reality is that intelligent tools are already subtly yet powerfully transforming jobsites and improving the quality of construction jobs. Additionally, those adopting AI are already seeing benefits in terms of competitive advantage, as a new Deloitte survey reveals that construction leaders in data management are seven times as likely to deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. 

The good news is that you can now access better, faster, and more intelligent tools with Autodesk that can help mitigate project and business risks and further advance your team’s productivity.  

Autodesk's early investments in AI 

At Autodesk, we've always been committed to helping you maximize efficiency and profit. From the initial shift to PCs in the early 80s to the advent of cloud and SaaS solutions to the rise of mobile platforms, Autodesk has consistently been at the forefront of change for construction innovation. 

This is why forward-thinking firms trust Autodesk, and we've remained an industry leader for four decades.  

We are also an early mover in AI. For over ten years, Autodesk Research has been working on complex AI problems like generative design so we can continue to provide tools for construction success.  

Case in point: we were the first construction platform to provide AI-powered insights through the release of Construction IQ. Construction IQ actually began as a limited pilot program in which we worked collaboratively with some of our largest construction customers to review and analyze construction data and to build AI tools that could identify various risks in construction projects. And as of this year the tool has been used over 5 million times, helping Autodesk users automatically identify and minimize project risk. 

Today, we’re thrilled to announce Autodesk AI, a technology that augments creative exploration, automates tedious and repetitive tasks, and analyzes project data to offer predictive insights. Available in Autodesk products and native to its Design and Make Platform, Autodesk AI enables customers to achieve better outcomes by increasing productivity and giving them the tools to be more ambitious and creative. 

How to leverage AI for construction with Autodesk 

At Autodesk, we continue to explore and expand how AI can assist you and your teams in your daily workflows. And we're happy to report that our products include practical AI capabilities that allow you to: 

  • Predict and prevent construction risk  
  • Save time with assistive workflows  
  • Access more information with intelligent search 
  • Improve and simplify everyday decision-making  

And, of course, these capabilities allow teams to maintain creativity and control on a day-to-day basis with high levels of data privacy and security. 

Here are a few features in Autodesk Construction Cloud that currently leverage AI. 

Construction IQ 

Powered by Autodesk AI, Construction IQ automatically analyzes data collected and stored in Autodesk Construction Cloud to provide more visibility into project health, priorities, and performance insights. That way, it's easier to prioritize tasks and issues.   

Construction IQ works across the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform, sifting through your project data points—including issues, observations, subcontractor assignments, related metadata, and historical data—to analyze that information and identify and prioritize risk factors each day. 

With Construction IQ, daily project management becomes an informed and streamlined experience. 

Automated symbol detection 

The symbol detection feature in Autodesk uses machine learning to detect and identify symbols during takeoff, enabling estimators to save time and reduce errors when conducting construction takeoffs. 

The tool also identifies previously detected symbols and notifies you of any new instances added, so your takeoffs are comprehensive and up-to-date. 

Suggested submittals 

This Autodesk AI-powered feature lives within AutoSpecs, allowing you to find and track submittal items that may not have been added to the specification. The suggested submittals tool compares your current project specifications with historical project data and recommends potentially missing items to enhance accuracy and mitigate risks associated with overlooked details. 

Photo autotags 

Another useful capability that leverages Autodesk AI, autotags in Autodesk Build, automatically adds tags as metadata to photos. This is a huge time saver for teams who use photos to track project progress and document completed work. With autotags, you can spend less time scrolling through photos and instead focus on putting that visual data to good use.  

How AI enhances productivity and reduces risk 

It's not an understatement to say that AI will revolutionize the construction industry, and the tools above are just a sample of the solutions you can use to unlock massive benefits like: 

Radical efficiency gains. Whether it's rapid iterative design and analysis, automated takeoff and submittals, or getting access to all project data, AI frees up time from non-optimal work. When leveraged effectively, AI lets you devote more energy to high-level and creative tasks, meaning you can get more things done faster and with less stress.  

Early prevention of construction risk. The best way to "deal with" project risks and issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place. We can do this by using intelligent tools that surface the right information sooner rather than later. By identifying and preventing problems during the early stages of the project, we can avoid costly issues downstream.  

Improve everyday decision-making. Teams are armed with the information they need to make intelligent and timely decisions that minimize risk throughout projects. As such, they can respond faster and coordinate with stakeholders more effectively. Jobs are finished on time, within budget, and everyone on the jobsite goes home safely at the end of each day. 

Why choose Autodesk as your partner in AI? 

There's no shortage of AI tools in the market (with more solutions popping up every day). However, not all tools are created equal. And if you're in construction, adopting Autodesk for AI is a no-brainer.  

Our AI solutions are construction-specific  

Autodesk's AI models are built specifically for construction professionals. Our solutions include functionality designed to review and analyze your project data to provide insights.   

A strong AEC foundation 

If you're looking for the most valuable and relevant insights, you need a specialist, not a jack of all trades. One of Autodesk's greatest strengths is that we are (and have always been) about AEC. We combine our predictive analytics and automated workflow capabilities with our decades of global AEC experience to deliver a more focused AI.  

Assistance while maintaining control 

At Autodesk, we recognize that you are the expert. The tools we've developed aren't meant to replace humans; instead, they exist to automate tasks, deliver insights, and provide alternatives while keeping you in the driver's seat.  

AI serves as a digital assistant, but you're still giving instructions to the system, crafting prompts, making selections from various design alternatives, and controlling the final product.  

Embrace the future of construction intelligence with Autodesk 

AI is poised to revolutionize the way projects are delivered. As your trusted AI partner, Autodesk is at the forefront of these developments. No matter where you are in your AI journey, we're equipping you with a suite of intelligent tools so you can improve efficiency, reduce risk, and make better decisions. 

Learn more and embrace the future of construction intelligence today.  

Lalith Subramanian

Lalith Subramanian is the Global VP, Product and Engineering, Autodesk. Lalith is an accomplished leader with a track record of product innovation in SaaS/cloud businesses of varying sizes.  Prior to Autodesk, at DocuSign, the global leader in eSignatures, as VP of Product Development, he led product for the DocuSign Foundations platform and also global engineering, product management and cloud operations for the contract analytics, security and monitoring products in addition to driving Docusign’s AI initiatives across product lines. Prior to DocuSign, he led the Security, Analytics and LegalTech business unit at Opentext Corporation.  Earlier in his career, on the products executive team that led Documentum through its IPO and acquisition by EMC, Lalith was responsible for launching its compliance, eBusiness and web experience management offerings as well as for leading several of Documentum’s public and private company acquisitions.  At EMC, he held various executive roles, including leading its healthcare business and growing it by launching a new SaaS offering for collaborative healthcare. He has served on the Board of Directors for AIIM, currently serves on the UC Santa Barbara board of advisors and advises non-profits through the Stanford University GSB Alumni Consulting Team.  In addition to completing the Stanford Executive Management program, he has an MS in Engineering from Ohio State University, where he was a University Fellow, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India, where he was a National Merit Scholar and a National Talent Search Scholar. Lalith is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, enjoys travel, hiking and camping with, and building/repairing things for, his wife and 3 kids.  He is also an avid community gardener and a frustrated golfer!