Tech at PwC: A day in the life - Artificial intelligence and disruption

Jas Sidhu - Artificial Intelligence and disruption

PwC, London
@jasnam_sidhu

 

 

What is your job?

I work in the Technology and Investments team, balancing my time between two roles. The first focuses on artificial intelligence (AI) by helping the firm build a competitive AI practice and transforming the way we work internally. The second is building a client business model disruption practice that helps clients anticipate disruptions and prepares them to respond. For example, how might mega drones that can carry six to eight people impact the airline industry?

What does a typical day look like for you?

On the AI side my day might involve identifying technology use cases across industries, thinking about how a client might apply AI to their business, presenting at a conference or on a panel.

On the disruption side I might be mapping out disruptive technologies such as blockchain, AI, or drones on a client’s business model or identifying key industry trends - as well as working to understand what types of organisations might disrupt our own business.

I’m also lucky enough to meet a lot of cool people on a daily basis. I work with a lot of startups - we’re often looking out for ways we can collaborate to offer new services or work together to do innovative stuff internally.  

What is the best thing about your job?

Splitting my time between the two areas is great - every day is different and I’ve had some great opportunities. For example last week I was in Geneva attending the Artificial Intelligence for Good summit, which aims to accelerate the way we use AI to make sure it’s for the benefit of humanity! In this industry new things are happening every day so you have to work hard to keep up with the pace of change.

Last week I was in Geneva attending the Artificial Intelligence for Good summit, which aims to accelerate the way we use AI to make sure it’s for the benefit of humanity! In this industry new things are happening every day so you have to work hard to keep up with the pace of change.

How did you get into your job?

I actually started off in management consulting. I’ve always been curious about emerging technologies and decided to speak to the firm’s digital leader at the time about my passion for this area and whether there were any opportunities available. I was able to go on secondment to transformation and have since moved into the technology and investments team.

As a part of this work and because I was meeting so many start ups and reading about disruption, a need for a disruption proposition was identified. We’ve now built the proposition into a reality which is proving very valuable for clients.

What skills do you need in your job?

It’s essential to be able to connect lots of disparate concepts and bring them together in a structured way, then effectively articulate them to clients (and to the firm) - organising the chaos and bringing it to life. Being able to dream up different use cases and propositions that would be valuable for clients is also important - reimagining the possible is powerful! The entry point for tech has so many different angles and unlike many more traditional areas, you can prove yourself by building and doing rather than by passing exams; the rules of the game are definitely changing.

What else are you passionate about?

One of my passion projects is presenting about emerging technologies at schools to inspire children from disadvantaged backgrounds to think about the careers and skills they might want in the future. It’s important that knowledge of emerging technologies is incorporated into the curriculum to fulfil the rapidly growing demand for skills in our future workforce and equip children with the skills they’ll need to be successful. On the other side there will need to be a much bigger emphasis on teaching human skills - the things we can’t (or can’t currently..) teach robots, such as emotional intelligence, coaching, interaction interpretation, social skills.

What's the best advice you've been given?

To GSD - get stuff done. You’ll learn so much by acting on and building ideas rather than just talking about them and people react much better when they’re able to see your idea come to life. I’ve been working this way for the last few years and have definitely seen a lot of opportunities arise because of it that I wouldn’t have got otherwise.

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Jasnam Sidhu

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