Accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers embraces ChatGPT AI, plans $1 billion investment

The auditing and accounting firm is collaborating with Microsoft and OpenAI to automate parts of its tax, audit, and consulting services.
Baba Tamim
PricewaterhouseCoopers Rotterdam, Netherlands.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Wikimedia Commons 

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) plans to invest $1 billion in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in its US operations over the next three years.

The accounting firm is collaborating with Microsoft and OpenAI to automate parts of its tax, audit, and consulting services, according to the PwC vice chair, Mohamed Kande. 

"This is about using generative AI to run the company in a more efficient way," Kande told The Wall Street Journal. "Embracing this technology is critical."

The technology is anticipated to be used to analyze corporate plans, spot operational inefficiencies, manufacture marketing materials, and launch sales campaigns faster after the generative AI models have been trained and tested. 

PwC will be able to use OpenAI's generative AI tools and the data security of Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing service, thanks to the agreement.

Educational institutions and several other big accounting firms, such as KPMG LLP and Ernst & Young, are also making investments in generative AI. 

53% of corporate IT decision-makers surveyed recently indicated they would evaluate, use, or dedicate more resources to OpenAI's ChatGPT platform. Tools for generative AI are made to produce text input from users as natural-language responses, pictures, or computer code. 

PwC- One Billion dollar investment 

PwC's $1 billion investment will be used to hire AI specialists, educate current employees in AI skills, and hunt down AI software developers for future acquisitions. 

The auditing and accounting giant intends to build generative AI, integrate it into its client-services platforms, and advise other businesses on utilizing it effectively.

In the financial services industry, generative AI is viewed as presenting a variety of alluring use cases, such as assisting in identifying and retrieving information and preparing reports with less human work. 

"Generative AI offers many attractive use cases for companies like this," Rowan Curran, an analyst at the information technology research firm Forrester Research Inc., told The Wall Street Journal.

Models like GPT-4 can be used to enhance report preparation with "much lower effort from the human auditors," he added.  

Following the initial interest in generative AI after ChatGPT's success, which launched in November, businesses are now entering a phase of experimenting, developing, and deploying their first-generation AI applications

Although generative AI is now in its investment and review phase, the critical question is whether it will lead to practical business applications.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, US Congress was cautioned by Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan about the danger of fraud utilizing AI technology such as ChatGPT.

Khan and other FTC commissioners testified at a Congressional hearing detailing the agency's efforts to protect American consumers from deceptive commercial practices related to technology breakthroughs. 

"AI presents a whole set of opportunities, but also presents a whole set of risks. And I think we've already seen ways in which it could be used to turbocharge fraud and scams," Khan told the House representatives.