AU All About AI—The Keynote Session from Autodesk University 2023

Without so much as an introduction, Andrew Anagnost, the CEO of Autodesk, took to the main stage at the company’s big (10,000 in attendance?) annual user meeting, Autodesk University, or AU. This year, AU returned to Las Vegas. Last year’s venue, New Orleans, didn’t sit well with Anagnost, and he pulled the plug on Cresent City after the first year of a multiyear contract. Pity.

Everyone should see Las Vegas once—but not more. It is a city whose main attractions are vices.

The talk quickly turns toward AI—as it has for every conference we have attended post-COVID.

AU 2023 x in Las Vegas is all about AI. Image: Autodesk.

AU 2023 x in Las Vegas is all about AI. Image: Autodesk.

“Though the uncertainty we’re all facing is accelerating, so is the technology available to us. We’ve gone from just sharing our files in the cloud to working in the cloud. From seeing data as a problem to be managed to realizing it’s an opportunity to be tapped. And from talking about the promise of AI to seeing it make real progress.

“Today, we’re announcing Autodesk AI. Autodesk AI is technology we’ve been working on and investing in for years. It powers our Design and Make platform and our industry clouds. We’re putting AI to work because we know it’s going to transform the way you work.

“Autodesk AI is native to the Design and Make platform. Today, we’re using Autodesk AI to automate the creation of engineering drawings in Fusion, and tomorrow, we’ll be automating multiple tasks on the path from design to manufacturing. Today, we’re putting Autodesk AI to work analyzing production schedules in Flow, and tomorrow, we’ll be optimizing the entire production process, from script to screen. Today, we’re using Autodesk AI to augment your creativity in Forma, and tomorrow, we’ll amplify the skill of all the teams that work together from concept to construction.

“We want to help you begin the design process where your thoughts are, not where your mouse is. That’s why our Design and Make platform is powered by Autodesk AI. And just like it’s been doing for the last 10 years, it’s enabling a future that’s already happening. A future that’s already expanding our capabilities and our imaginations.

“Enabling better workflows, better outcomes, a better world. Because we believe all of you can make anything.”

Jeff Kinder, EVP of Design and Manufacturing, Autodesk, takes the stage.

Jeff Kinder, EVP of Design and Manufacturing, Autodesk, takes the stage.

“Fusion is our industry cloud for manufacturing. Fusion pioneered end-to-end Design and Make processes, coming together in the cloud with connected data and teams in manufacturing,” said Jeff Kinder, Autodesk’s EVP of Design and Manufacturing, who next took the stage.

“At the heart of Fusion is data. We’ve brought disciplines and departments together around a central Autodesk data model. With all the data relevant to a product’s development unified in the cloud—how it’s designed, how it performs, how it’s manufactured—we’ve connected everyone from the design studio to the shop floor, in real time.

“Fusion is more capable—and more valuable—today than ever before. Fusion has evolved from addressing the needs of individuals to addressing the needs of entire organizations. And Fusion continues to expand its end-to-end capabilities, from AI-driven automation, to mechanical and electronics integration, to factory simulation. As the tipping point approaches for your industry—and it is coming—Fusion is growing to meet your changing needs, to keep you ahead of an accelerating technology curve, and to help you turn inevitable change into opportunity.”

Diana Colella, EVP of Entertainment & Media Solutions, Autodesk.

Diana Colella, EVP of Entertainment & Media Solutions, Autodesk.

“We’re building Flow—Autodesk’s industry cloud for Media & Entertainment. Our goal is to provide an open ecosystem on the Autodesk Platform that connects the different phases of the production lifecycle,” said Diana Colella, EVP of Entertainment & Media Solutions.

“Flow will leverage open standards, like Universal Scene Description, to ensure interoperability. But more than that, with the Autodesk Data Model and open data model for the industry, you can track and manage production data from preproduction all the way to post, no matter what tools you want to use.

“With everyone connected through Flow, they’ll always be on the same page. There’ll be no confusion about where anything is and what needs to be done. The benefits are clear—immediate access to data, stronger connections between teams, and greater efficiency. This is the power of Flow.”

To tell you more about AEC and Construction Design Solutions is EVP Amy Bunszel, Autodesk.

To tell you more about AEC and Construction Design Solutions is EVP Amy Bunszel, Autodesk.

“I believe that AI should augment you, not replace you. That’s why over the next year, we’re expanding the already powerful AI capabilities in Forma.… Forma will fundamentally change the way you work. That is the power of Autodesk AI,” said Amy Bunszel, EVP of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Design Solutions at Autodesk.

“Forma reimagines BIM. It connects data across disciplines and phases to unlock value across the entire project lifecycle. Data that is relevant and actionable, structured and available—in files or file less.

“The AEC industry is transforming with cloud-connected data and AI-powered tools like Forma. I’m confident that Forma will lead the way, connecting your data, your processes and your people.”

Raji Arasu, Autodesk EVP, Chief Technology Officer, on the value of data for AI.

Raji Arasu, Autodesk EVP, Chief Technology Officer, on the value of data for AI.

“With Autodesk AI, we unlock your creativity, solve your problems and eliminate nonproductive work for your teams. We’re putting AI to work. In Fusion, we’re automating the creation of drawings and toolpaths. In Flow, we’re using AI to analyze and optimize production schedules. And with Forma, AI is augmenting the creative process during early-stage planning in powerful new ways.

“At Autodesk, we want all of you to be able to realize the value of AI. Making your project data more granular, interoperable and accessible is foundational to our efforts around AI, and we couldn’t be more excited about where AI is taking us.”