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Duncan Golestani: The rise of AI and Generative AI has been meteoric. But it has been marked by concerns about bias, ethics and the impact on jobs. However, PwC believes addressing such risks and using AI to create value for business and society, makes the role of people more important than ever. The firm says a human-led approach is essential for the responsible and successful use of AI and Generative AI.
Warren Nettleford: Could we be at the beginning of a new revolution? The technological leaps made possible with artificial intelligence are hard to escape. Already, one leading professional services firm has outlined the world of opportunities available to clients.
Joey Jegerajan: The opportunities with this technology are vast, from everything from creating new markets, new revenue opportunities, through to efficiency, through to, actually, culture and engaging with your staff in a way that's very authentic. I think Generative AI has a significant role to play to drive improvements to society, particularly around speed of data, speed of insight, helping enrich people's lives, but also driving business. The opportunity for businesses, not just to grow but, importantly, to be able to deliver more value to customers.
Warren: Now PwC is looking to combine its leading industry experience, functional specialisms and tech expertise to help clients unlock the value of Generative AI quickly and responsibly. Quentin Cole is the firm's head of industries.
Quentin Cole: GenAI is here, it is disruptive and it's moving incredibly quickly. So, I would encourage organisations to look carefully at what parts of their organisation, what parts of their service portfolio, have use cases where GenAI can be effectively applied. But it has to be thought through really carefully because the governance, the security, the confidentiality and ensuring trust is enshrined in what they deploy is really important.
Warren: PwC is already using Generative AI, gaining valuable insights into how it can improve efficiencies and complement the skills of their people. Tilly Harries is a barrister and director at PwC, based in London.
Tilly Harries: I definitely agree that Generative AI helps to free you up to focus on more strategic and more difficult, actually, issues that require more judgement. AI and lawyers work hand in hand. So, AI is not a replacement for lawyers. Lawyers are needed at the start, in terms of framing the right questions and inputting the right data, to make sure that the output from the AI is meaningful. And then, they're there at the end, looking at that data, the output from AI, and applying their own knowledge, intelligence, experience, so that the client can trust in the information that's being shared.
Warren: Harvey is the AI system which the legal team at PwC uses and it's already transforming how they work.
Tilly: So, one of the most valuable uses, I find, is uploading a large document, say 200 plus pages, into the tool and then you can ask it questions about the document, ask it to summarise, and it does it within a matter of seconds.
Warren: And how long before would that have taken you?
Tilly: That would have taken hours.
Warren: And Generative AI is not just about saving time. What about creating a more diverse workforce?
Tilly: I think Generative AI can make the workforce more diverse, particularly at the junior end, in terms of increasing the entry points for people who may not be from privileged backgrounds and making early stage careers much more valuable and much more engaging and interesting, so they don't necessarily drop out of the profession.
Warren: And so, imagine extracting insights from large amounts of data in a seamless process. Of improving customer experiences, optimising operations and boosting diversity. Generative AI is the potential game-changer which could augment the workforce, making businesses smarter and more efficient.
Quentin: GenAI is hugely powerful, harnessed in the right way with the right governance and rigour round it, so that organisations are trusting in it and their clients are trusting in it. And I think a big part of that is also making sure there is a human-led component to it as well. When you put the human-led alongside the power of GenAI, with the right governance, then it's really powerful but it's also safe and reliable.