Accenture invests $3 billion in artificial intelligence capabilities

15 June 2023 6 min. read

Global professional services giant Accenture has announced a huge investment to further its capabilities in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). Over the next three years, the global consulting and technology firm will pump $3 billion into AI research and development.

Accenture's significant investment in its in-house Data & AI practice aims to beef up the company’s rapid – and responsible development – and use of AI. This strategic move is intended to better help clients achieve enhanced growth, efficiency, and resilience by using AI tools.

Accenture has already previously worked with some of the largest companies in the Middle East on digital transformation, including Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company inthe world. Middle Eastern countries like the UAE have shown a readiness to make serious strides in emerging technology, like AI and the metaverse.

Accenture to invest $3 billion in AI over next 3 years

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

“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,” added Sweet.

This new investment from Accenture follows closely after a similar announcement from global consulting firm PwC, which said it would apportion $1 billion over the next three years into its own AI development, in collaboration with Microsoft and OpenAI.

Other firms including Deloitte and KPMG have also made similar commitments. Inmonetary terms, Accenture’s $3 billion splash however trumps the recent investments among its peers.

“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 of Accenture’s Technology division.

“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 before.”

As AI technology continues to grow exponentially, experts fear that these technologies could harbor hidden dangers. There is concern that further adoption of AI on a large scale could lead to job displacement, algorithmic bias, and security risks associated with the handling of personal data. The EU has led the rest of the world in devising specific regulations on AI. The ‘AI Act’, first proposed in 2021, will be put to a further vote this summer.

In response to risks inherent to AI, Accenture said that the company places ethics and socials responsibility at the heart of its AI offerings, by design.