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May 17, 2017

Global AI adoption can help accountants beyond compliance, PwC report finds

By Stephanie Wix

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could help accountants beyond the basic compliance work by fostering high quality advisory services, according to a report by PwC.

PwC’s report, entitled Bot.Me: A Revolutionary Partnership, focused on the potential of AI to solve global business challenges. It draws on a survey of 2,500 consumers and business leaders in the USA, and the 2017 AI Expert Salon event.

The report highlighted that Artificial Intelligence can automate menial tasks, freeing up time for innovation and broader thinking. Seventy percent agreed that AI has the potential to enable humans to concentrate on meaningful work. In accounting this is expected to lead to a greater focus on high quality advisory services rather than on compliance and bookkeeping.

AI is seen not only as a tool to increase automation, but an emerging technology to handle global challenges, and 63% of respondents agreed that AI will help solve complex problems. In business, 72% of respondents believe that AI will be the business advantage of the future, suggesting AI will be at the forefront for companies seeking a competitive edge.

Fifty five percent of respondents believed AI can boost business productivity, inform strategy and generate growth, and that this outweighs employment concerns.

When respondents were asked about AI’s importance in solving issues 63% believed that AI can offer a “superior one-to-one experience” as consumers seem to care less about their experience being with a human or robot.

According to consumers and business decision makers, AI also has the potential to solve issues such as closing the education gap, establishing cures for diseases and gender inequality. Of the respondents, 58% said if they were to turn to AI for assistance in the next five years it would most likely be as a tutor, and 22% said it would be for a doctor. Additionally, 64% of consumers are willing for the integration of AI into customer service roles.

The report can be found here.

The PwC consumer intelligence series can be found here.

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