Accenture Pours $3 Billion in Investment to Power AI Efforts

Accenture Pours $3 Billion in Investment to Power AI Efforts

As the race to invest in AI development continues,  IT consulting firm Accenture has joined the bandwagon with a $3 billion investment into its AI and data divisions over three years. This comes months after the company laid off 19 000 jobs citing economic hardships, such as high inflation and interest rates.

Accenture is also planning to double it’s AI workforce to 80 000 employees, as the company acquires new human resources and other firms.

After adding the 40 000 new employees, the firm’s AI team will make up about 10% of its total workforce. Currently, the Dublin headquartered firm has a workforce of 738 000 people. Accenture consults and has a wide range of clientele that the company services for generative AI.

Investment to cut across industries

This investment is expected to help companies across 19 industries. Accenture intends to spend money on ventures, business solutions, ecosystem relationships, resources, and talent.

The investment is intended to strengthen and build new diagnostic, predictive, and generative AI skills and capabilities.

Generative AI, which has become a major hit in the AI field, has seen tech majors like Microsoft and Google pouring millions of dollars into research and development. Accenture’s investment will support its Center for Advanced AI to improve generative AI.

CEO Julie Sweet said that the investment plan is also meant to improve service delivery to their clients.

“There is unprecedented interest in all areas of AI, and the substantial investment we are making in our data and AI practice will help our clients move from interest to action to value, and in a responsible way with clear business cases,” said Sweet.

“Companies that build a strong foundation of AI by adopting and scaling it now, where the technology is mature and delivers clear value, will be better positioned to reinvent, compete, and achieve new levels of performance,” she added.

Also read: PM Rishi Sunak to Turn the UK into an AI Hub, Invests £100M

AI gold rush

AI adoption in multiple industries has led to a scramble for investment in the sector and it seems many companies are to follow suit soon enough rather than risk playing catch-up.

While there are still concerns over AI adoption in some countries, investment into the sector is rising on a daily basis as companies make huge investments into AI as well as research and development.

According to a Reuters report, Salesforce has doubled it’s venture capital fund for AI startups to $500 million in addition to unveiling an AI cloud services. The company is looking at offering a one-stop-shop for AI products, thereby attracting more firms.

ChatGPT maker OpenAI has also made a $175 million investment to support upcoming AI firms, while Chinese Baidu has also stepped up with a $145 million venture capital fund for AI startups in China.

Now, Accenture’s investment is among the biggest figures poured into AI as companies have the understanding the sector has potential to transform the way things are done across sectors.

“Over the next decade, AI will be a mega-trend, transforming industries, companies and the way we live and work, as generative AI transforms 40% of all working hours,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive, Accenture Technology.

“Our expanded Data & AI practice brings together the full power and breadth of Accenture in creating industry-specific solutions that will help our clients harness AI’s full potential to reshape their strategy, technology and ways of working, driving innovation and value responsibly and faster than ever,” added Daugherty.

Governments not to be outdone

Not to be outdone, governments are also showing keen interest in AI and want to take advantage of it to optimize operations in healthcare, education, commerce, agriculture and manufacturing among others.

Despite cracking heads over best way to regulate the AI sector, governments are also pouring funds towards the growth of AI.

During fiscal year 2022, the US government spent $3,3 billion in AI contracts.

Recently UK government announced blue print for the sector, which among others seeks to launch scholarships for the sector as well as an investment of £100 for an AI taskforce.

 

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.

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