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PwC Pronounces Major Investment in Generative AI Technology

PwC Pronounces Major Investment in Generative AI Technology

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has unveiled plans to take a position $1 billion in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology for its US operations over the following three years. Collaborating with Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, PwC goals to automate facets of its tax, audit, and consulting services.

The multiyear investment, announced recently, will include funding to rent more AI professionals, train existing staff in AI capabilities, and goal AI software makers for potential acquisitions.

Generative AI tools can generate natural-language responses, images, or computer code based on user text prompts. PwC’s objective shouldn’t be only to develop and incorporate generative AI into its technology stack and client-services platforms but in addition to advise other corporations on leveraging generative AI while helping them construct these tools, says Mohamed Kande, PwC’s Vice Chair and Co-Leader of US Consulting Solutions and Global Advisory Leader.

Working with OpenAI and Microsoft

PwC plans to pay for access to OpenAI’s GPT-4 language model, the underlying software that powers ChatGPT, so as to construct and run apps on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Although ChatGPT is a free online tool, OpenAI charges developers to access its language model and create their software tools. The upgraded model has been trained on vast amounts of language data from various sources to understand natural-language prompts and generate coherent responses.

Potential Applications of Generative AI in PwC’s Operations

Once the models are fully trained and tested, Kande envisions the technology being utilized for quickly writing reports, preparing compliance documents, analyzing and evaluating business strategies, identifying operational inefficiencies, and creating marketing materials and sales campaigns, amongst other applications. “That is about using generative AI to run the corporate in a more efficient way,” he said. “Embracing this technology is critical.”

The Role of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud

Microsoft’s AI platform corporate vp, Eric Boyd, said that PwC’s move will enable access to OpenAI’s generative AI tools with the added compliance and data security offered by Azure cloud-computing service. Microsoft itself announced a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, a startup founded in 2015. Boyd said that over 1,000 organizations are currently using OpenAI tools on Microsoft’s cloud for various purposes, akin to customer support, conversational AI, summarization, writing assistance, and data extraction and classification.

Generative AI within the Accounting and Finance Industry

Other major accounting firms, like KPMG LLP and Ernst & Young, are also investing in generative AI. TurboTax owner Intuit Inc. is developing its own generative AI language model for financial management, trained on years of interactions with its business customers.

Analysts say that accounting, tax preparation, auditing, and other financial services are prime areas for generative AI. Rowan Curran, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said that enormous language models like GPT-4 can assist with information discovery and retrieval, particularly when exploring unstructured and semi-structured data, and have the potential to enhance report preparation processes with “much lower effort from the human auditors.”

Challenges and Future Outlook

Despite the potential advantages, using generative AI in areas like tax preparation requires skilled validation, and it would create compliance issues, says Mark D. McDonald, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner Inc. Nonetheless, Kande emphasizes that PwC’s goal shouldn’t be to switch employees with generative


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