The imperative to upgrade infrastructure is underscored by advancements in construction, renewable energy, and the strategic role of technology. Julien Moutte, CTO of Bentley Systems, underscores the importance of providing engineers with “infrastructure intelligence” amid growing demands. He distinguishes between IT data, which is administrative, and engineering and operational data, which are vital for developing digital twins with inputs like 3D models, drone imagery, and IoT sensors.
Moutte stresses the importance of data in today's engineering: “It's more important than ever to make this infrastructure intelligence available to engineers so that they can do their best work. Because in our sector infrastructure is under a lot of pressure right now due to backlogs, talent shortages, and sustainability requirements.”
Digital twins enable simulations and problem anticipation in a virtual space, with AI and machine learning being key to predicting real-world outcomes. AI can aid tasks such as CAD analysis and production and in the creation of digital twins. Bentley Systems addresses data interoperability challenges and the trustworthiness of AI amid evolving discussions on generative AI. The company has committed to ensuring its AI solutions respect intellectual property and data privacy rights.
Moutte views AI as a powerful assistant rather than a replacement in infrastructure design. Bentley Systems promotes AI as a collaborator with designers and engineers, grounded in physical laws and engineering limits: “We believe this is an approach that is going to help our users understand how the data is being used, have control, but also make the best use of past data.”
“Our tools already understand the rules of the physical world, the constraints of engineering, and we want to make sure that AI is working as an assistant to the designer and engineers and of our tools so that they can enforce those engineering rules and make sure we create safe designs.”
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