PwC’s $1 Billion Investment in AI Includes Microsoft, OpenAI

PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S. will invest $1 billion to expand and scale its artificial intelligence capabilities over the next three years. The accounting giant will work with Microsoft and OpenAI to automate parts of its tax, audit and consulting services. In addition to scouting for AI software acquisitions, the investment will also fund training for its staff of 65,000 and recruitment of new talent. PwC predicts generative AI will “change business models and reinvent entire industries,” contributing up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

“For a professional services firm like PwC, generative AI poses enormous opportunities for our clients and for us,” company vice chairs Joe Atkinson and Mohamed Kande wrote in a joint blog post that says the company will be “creating offerings using OpenAI’s GPT-4/ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service.”

PwC says it was an early mover in the AI space and is “already working on hundreds of AI and generative AI use cases to drive efficiencies, cost and time savings and new insights.” A recent addition of generative AI to an auto insurer’s claim estimation process helped realize efficiencies that translated to a 29 percent savings, the company shares.

Kande explained to The Wall Street Journal that PwC will be paying for access to OpenAI’s GPT-4 foundation model, which underpins ChatGPT, to build its own apps and run them in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Once PwC has trained and tested its own custom model, “Kande sees the technology being used to quickly write reports and prepare compliance documents, analyze and evaluate business strategies, identify inefficiencies in operations or create marketing materials and sales campaigns, among many other applications,” WSJ writes.

And PwC’s global legal practice has announced “it is embracing the OpenAI-based Harvey application, which helps automate and enhance various aspects of legal and tax work for clients,” according to VentureBeat.

Microsoft AI platform corporate VP Eric Boyd tells WSJ there are already more than 1,000 companies — from startups to multinationals — using OpenAI tools in the Azure cloud for things like customer support, writing assistance, conversational AI and customization by “gaining insights from data using search, data extraction and classification.’”

Accounting firms KPMG and Ernst & Young are among those investing in generative AI. “TurboTax owner Intuit Inc., for instance, is building its own generative AI language model for financial management, trained on years of interactions with its business customers,” WSJ reports.

“PwC is privately owned so it doesn’t necessarily need to make announcements like this to excite short-term investors,” writes Axios, adding that “as one of the largest professional services and consulting firms in the world, it likely wants to signal that its entire company is serious about AI as competition for AI expertise heats up.”

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.