Business process outsourcing (BPO) company Accenture said in a new report that 98% of global executives believe artificial intelligence (AI) foundation models will play an important role in their organizations’ strategy in the coming years.
Accenture also said workers need not “fear” AI, despite concerns that it will eventually replace humans in the workplace.
Accenture’s Reinventing Enterprise Operations research report also said nearly three-fourths (73%) of companies are prioritizing AI over all other digital investments with an immediate focus on improving operational resilience in an unprecedented environment.
The report also found 90% of business leaders are applying AI to tackle aspects of operational resilience, which spans data-driven capabilities, such as finance (89%) and suppliers (88%), to experimentation with generative AI.
Accenture said according to its report, 97% of executives said generative AI will be transformative to their company and industry. Almost all (99%) said they plan to amplify their investments in AI, and 67% of organizations planning to increase their level of spending in technology are prioritizing investments in Data/AI.
Further, 56% acknowledge that getting the data strategy right is a key challenge in using and implementing generative AI today, Accenture said.
Over 7 in 10 organizations have specific training programs planned for 2023 to ensure workers are prepared to use generative AI tools, the company said.
One interesting finding in the Accenture report said AI will impact 40% of working hours, particularly current AI applications such as GPT-4, which are based on large language models (LLMs).
ChatGPT, for instance, can be used to “generate” conversations based on language models, that are almost similar to human-to-human communication.
However, Accenture allayed fears that AI will “replace” human workers, instead saying that with the proper training, AI can allow workers to be more efficient.
Accenture, one of the biggest BPOs operating in the Philippines, said some of its internal operations are now using generative AI or “GenAI” to improve business processes. In a demo, the company showed that AI will still need a human “pilot” when processing queries.
Company representatives said these AI-powered services will “soon” be available to Accenture clients.
“GenAI, as a co-pilot, creative partner or advisor, will advance human capabilities and overall, its impact will be a net gain for people and skills as these technologies will open up more opportunities to create talent, upskill people for new roles and higher value work,” Ambe Tierro, country managing director and technology lead at Accenture Philippines, said.
Tierro said companies can start with people, and success with generative AI requires equal attention on people and training as it does on technology. Companies should dramatically ramp up investing to build talent to develop and use generative AI, she said.
However, Tierro urged companies to look if there is a business case for integrating AI into their operations before jumping in.