For AutoCAD, the American industry leader is harnessing the powers of artificial intelligence to benefit users, as well as emerging core technology updates.
Editor’s Note: This feature was first published in our May issue of Xpresso published a week ago. For early access to our best content, subscribe to Xpresso now. It’s free!
SPRING IS ALWAYS TIME FOR THE AUTOCAD UPDATE. This year we had an interesting discussion with Dania El Hassan, Director of Product Management, Autodesk, about what’s new in AutoCAD technology and the latest release.
For readers who missed the news, AutoCAD 2023 was released at the end of March and contained updates on desktop, including the Mac version, and on web and mobile. You can read our two previous reports here and here.
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to advance at a rapid pace. It was fascinating to learn that Autodesk is working to use AI (specifically machine learning) to help its users streamline their repetitive work processes and gain higher skill levels in AutoCAD itself. same.
But it really is powerful automation. This is the beginning of a story; you can imagine how far we can go with different layers of automation on top of each other.
“When we talk about automation, especially when we talk about the AI space, one of the most important things we’ve been working on is this Markup Import and Markup Assist technology,” says El Hassan. These new features in 2023 build on the Trace Layer technology added in the previous release.
“Last year we introduced the trace overlay where clients can bring in this low-fidelity input. This is super useful on AutoCAD mobile because it’s difficult to add precision input to a drawing directly with your finger. Now customers can import annotations from PDF files or capture photos of handwritten annotations with their smartphone in the field. » « The ML [machine learning] now helps to recognize and convert this data on the trace layer into AutoCAD objects,” she adds.
“It’s really powerful automation,” says El Hassan. “It’s the beginning of a story; you can imagine how far we can go with different layers of automation on top of each other.
AI and user development
Another fascinating area where Autodesk is working with AI is in user development. New My Insights: Macro Advisor technology helps users streamline workers by teaching and configuring AutoCAD macros to suit their specific workflows.
“We can aggregate how AutoCAD users use the drawing tool and find ways to provide guidance to our customers to help them become more proficient as they work,” adds El Hassan. . “It really is a modern way of learning so that customers can improve their productivity.”
This discussion draws my attention to the fact that the average skill level of CAD users (or almost all software users for that matter) is relatively moderate. On a broad scale from A to Z, with six skill levels ranging from ‘beginner’ to ‘advanced expert’, most companies’ workforces are at mid- to mid-high.
Dania El Hassan agrees. And that’s why these new features are so important. “Education is really a passion for me,” she adds. “I think what’s essential is meeting people where they are in the learning process.”
“AutoCAD users are so diverse in their situation with the software. And individuals might be more proficient in certain things,” she adds. others can be really good at certain aspects of writing.”
“So the approach we’ve taken here is this personalized approach, and we’ve learned that helps.” Autodesk AutoCAD 2023 presents information at different skill levels of users. The software will generate information that will help beginners learn new skills faster and also guide advanced users to new ways of working.
As Autodesk strives to use machine learning AI technology to help users speed up working with AutoCAD, they are also actively recoding core AutoCAD technology to take advantage of the latest silicon technologies and graphics.
AutoCAD 2023 features a new graphics engine which Dania El Hassan says is an important core technology of Autodesk. Notably, as mentioned in our AutoCAD 2023 Mac release report, this new graphics engine is a cross-platform 3D graphics engine. El Hassan explains that the new engine leverages Microsoft DirectX12 and Apple Metal so Windows and Mac AutoCAD 2023 users get new 3D performance benefits.
As for Apple Silicon support for AutoCAD 2023? While important to Autodesk, the company isn’t ready to discuss Apple’s M-series processors for the Mac version just yet. “We have a long partnership with Apple,” says El Hassan, “and we are committed to delivering AutoCAD on all platforms and devices.” That’s all we can get from Autodesk on Apple’s best-selling M-series processors and the new Mac. It is therefore not known when a native M1 version will be released.
Whether it’s AI performing boundary detection in new markup features or using AI to recognize repetitive work in a user’s workflow and then notify them of a custom macro, Autodesk is harnessing the power of machine learning algorithms and reaping benefits for customers.
With tougher economic realities facing a global economy, deploying machine learning (ML) to increase user productivity is smart and timely.