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Navigating the AI landscape

Navigating the AI landscape

By Sara Karstetter

AI is a hot topic with numerous applications in AEC, though navigating the options can be overwhelming.

AI may be the latest buzzword, but–even though the spooky season has just ended–it doesn’t have to be as scary as it may seem. There were three sessions on AI between Zweig Group’s M&A Next Symposium and its 2023 ElevateAEC Conference this September, and one of them was standing room only.

I think the biggest question on everyone’s mind is, “How can I use it?” Well, I have the answer, but you’re not going to like it. “42.”

Just kidding. Apologies, my nerd is showing. The real answer is, “However you want.”

No really. “If there is something you want AI for, do a search, and you will probably find one!” per Kristin Kautz, an artificial intelligence consultant with Zweig Group. And this is true. The industry has exploded. According to Tracxn Technologies, which tracks startup businesses, as of June, there were approximately 18,563 AI startups in the US, and an estimated (almost) 60,486 in the world as of September.

For those of us who have played around with ChatGPT, the technocrats of the symposium dubbed it the “gateway drug” of AI. There are so many possibilities for it, but therein lies the problem. With these new revolutions in technology, we are looking out at an unending sea of possibilities. Where on earth do we start?

Well, within the world of AEC, there are a number of offerings already relevant to our needs. For example, Microsoft is in beta testing for Copilot, the integrated AI for their Office Suite. Google is working to release Duet, its rival to Copilot. Autodesk has released Forma (formerly Spacemaker) which offers powerful real-time analytics (but is best used for conceptual design at this point). There are even specialized programs, such as Box.ai and Joist.ai, that work with your company’s own documents to help streamline business practices … and on and on.

The bottom line is this: There is a lot happening right now, and it is impossible to have a solid grasp on all the available options. That is why we defer to those who are doing this for a living. If you are like me, and want to learn more about how AI can be used specifically in the AEC industry, Zweig Group can help.

Zweig Group offers AI Innovation Discovery advisory services that specialize in providing tailored guidance, consulting, and training to AEC firms on how to leverage the potential of AI in their business operations. With the rapid advancement of AI, it is crucial for firms to adopt and manage AI technologies to stay competitive in their respective markets. However, implementing AI and its oversight can be complex and requires careful consideration of the right programs, policies, procedures, and training to ensure successful integration. Zweig Group’s AI Innovation Discovery Team has extensive knowledge and experience in both AI and AEC. Click here to learn more. 

Sara Karstetter, MBA is a mergers and acquisitions advisor with Zweig Group. Contact her at skarstetter@zweiggroup.com.