PricewaterhouseCoopers Plans $1B Generative AI Investment
Finance giant PricewaterhouseCoopers is planning a $1 billion investment in generative AI over three years, embedding it throughout its business practice with an eye toward what it offers clients. Microsoft is working with PwC to bring its Azure OpenAI Service, linked to OpenAI’s GPT-4 AI model, into its software infrastructure.
Announcing the investment puts a number and official seal on an already ongoing project at PwC. PwC has already started directing its staff to use Azure OpenAI Service in some cases as a way of making client work more efficient and plans to use some of the billion dollars to hire and train employees on how to use generative AI tools. Some may also go toward acquiring companies in the industry. PwC wants to build a generative AI ecosystem for itself and its clients, as well as set up consulting services centered on the technology. Using GPT-4, PwC will build apps that then run on Microsoft Azure’s servers for activities like writing and editing reports, enterprise strategies, and marketing materials. PwC previously hinted at what was to come when it inked a deal with legal AI assistant startup Harvey, which the OpenAI Startup Fund led a $5 million funding round for earlier this year.
“We are at a tipping point in business and society where AI will revolutionize how we work, live and interact at scale,” PwC vice chair and, U.S. consulting solutions co-leader Mohamed Kande said. “PwC has long been a pioneer in responsible AI and this latest investment and collaboration with Microsoft will help our people and clients realize the augmented productivity and new growth opportunities associated with generative AI, doing so in a responsible way while driving the right results.”
PwC is one of more than 1,000 companies and institutions using Microsoft Azure to support OpenAI models. That includes plenty of other financial and accounting groups that employ generative AI for everything from customer service to financial projections. PwC is making a particularly large investment, but generative AI is seeing a lot of money funneled its way, with Pitchbook estimating a global generative AI market of $42.6 billion at the end of 2023 and $98.1 billion by 2026, according to market analytics firm PitchBook Data Inc.
“We are excited that PwC will utilize Azure OpenAI Service to transform the way they work, and to deliver innovative customer solutions that take advantage of the world’s most advanced AI models, backed by Azure’s trusted enterprise-grade capabilities and AI-optimized infrastructure,” Microsoft AI platform corporate vice president Eric Boyd said. “Our collaboration with PwC and OpenAI will be a game-changer that opens the floodgates for businesses to experience generative AI applications in a safe and secure manner.”