Accenture to invest $3 billion in AI over next 3 years

14 June 2023 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
Profile

Accenture has unveiled ambitious plans for its capabilities in the area of artificial intelligence. Over the next three years, the global consulting and technology firm will pump $3 billion in AI research and development.

The massive investment in Accenture’s homegrown data and AI practice is expected to help clients across many industries rapidly and responsibly develop and use AI to achieve greater growth, efficiency, and resilience.

“There is unprecedented interest in all areas of AI, and the substantial investment we are making in our data and AI practice will help our clients move from interest to action to value, and in a responsible way with clear business cases,” said Julie Sweet, Chair and CEO of Accenture.

Accenture to invest $3 billion in AI over next 3 years

“Companies that build a strong foundation of AI by adopting and scaling it now, where the technology is mature and delivers clear value, will be better positioned to reinvent, compete, and achieve new levels of performance,” Sweet added.

Accenture already has around a decade of experience in offering clients AI-based insights and solutions for driving efficiency, insights, and increasing value.

Among the tangibles that the AI investment will bring Accenture are: new ventures and partnerships in generative AI, an increase in in-house AI talent to 80,000 professionals, and a new AI-based platform that can help design business cases and algorithms, among other things.

Meanwhile, it won’t surprise many that Accenture will also reserve some of its war chest to fund acquisitions – an integral part of Accenture’s growth strategy in any in-demand field.

“Over the next decade, AI will be a mega-trend, transforming industries, companies, and the way we live and work, as generative AI transforms 40% of all working hours,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive of Accenture’s Technology division.

“Our expanded practice brings together the full power and breadth of Accenture in creating industry-specific solutions that will help our clients harness AI’s full potential to reshape their strategy, technology, and ways of working, driving innovation and value responsibly and faster than ever before.”

This investment from Accenture follows closely after a similar announcement from the US wing of global consulting firm PwC, which said it would apportion $1 billion over the next three years into its own AI development, in collaboration with Microsoft and OpenAI.

With the exponential growth of AI in recent years, experts fear that the technology could be dangerous when leveraged unethically and on a large scale. Some of the concerns over AI expressed by experts include job displacement, algorithmic bias leading to discrimination, and privacy or security risks associated with the handling of personal data.

The EU has been the first legislative body to propose specific regulations on AI, with the ‘AI Act’ first being proposed in 2021. Just last month, European MEPs voted in favour of a draft of the AI Act, which will be put to a further vote this summer.