Eyal Farkash, Technology Lead at Accenture

Accenture Technology Lead: “You cannot stop AI. I don't think that makes sense”

A study conducted by Accenture has examined the impact of tools like ChatGPT and how they will change workloads and roles in the years ahead

A study by professional services firm Accenture has shined a light on the impact of tools like ChatGPT and confirmed what we all knew: generative AI is set to radically transform how companies and employees spend their time. ‘A new era of generative AI for everyone: The technology underpinning ChatGPT will transform work and reinvent business’ outlined some of the ways companies can adopt tools to streamline workflows and improve results.
“I don't wish to call it radical because it's maybe too much, but things are going to be changed,” said Eyal Farkash, Technology Lead at Accenture. The report states that 40% of working hours across industries can be impacted by Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, with banking and insurance taking the lead as ones that will feel the most change. This is because these sectors lend themselves to a new world with humans and machines working together to complete tasks and many of the services take place on the computer and rely on large data sets. Almost 60% of organizations plan to use ChatGPT for learning purposes, and more than 40% are planning large investments in the technology this year.
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Eyal Accenture
Eyal Accenture
Eyal Farkash, Technology Lead at Accenture
(Photo: Elad Gutman)
“I think that technology is absolutely amazing,” he continued. “And it can solve so many problems and can interact with so many people that you didn't interact with before. Businesses will be able to be more focused.” Today, ChatGPT is used by 100 million monthly active users two months after its launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.
There are six ways that organizations and employees can embrace the new era of generative AI, according to Accenture. These include ‘diving in’ to the technology with a business-driven mindset, taking a people-first approach, getting data prepared, investing in a sustainable tech foundation, accelerating innovation, and leveling up on responsible AI. According to Farkash, it will be up to managers to safely deploy the tools within their organizations and make sure compliance is met - no easy feat considering 98% of them intend to adopt it in the coming years.
After a number of prominent members of the tech community signed a letter requesting the pause of AI research for six months, questions were raised about how suddenly this will evolve - and where it might take us next.
“You cannot stop it. I don't think that makes sense,” Farkash said. “Technology cannot stop and always you find that the crazy person continues. It is not politically correct to say: given that you would stop the good guys, the bad guys would not listen to it.” Mirroring a popular argument for gun rights in the U.S., Farkash believes that putting a pause on honest AI developers will only lead to dishonest ones potentially carrying out cyberattacks or affecting the implicit biases of the algorithms.
“You give them the advantage of six months over those who are actually trying to deal with it, so I wouldn't go in the direction of stopping technology just because I do not know what to do with it,” he said. “I think that we need to see the reaction and to react.”
The moment these technologies become more intertwined will raise concern that AI will ‘take our jobs’ and make humans obsolete. The report argues that companies must therefore ‘reinvent’ work to find a path where generative AI can be most useful and not disruptive. The responsibility there will lie in business leaders who will need to redesign jobs and tasks, as well as reskill those who may not be familiar with the technology.
An analysis by Accenture assessed how a job like a customer service representative could be redesigned with the use of generative AI. First, it identified 13 component tasks that each caller conducts. It noted that four of those would continue to be performed primarily by humans, another four would be automated - such as gathering, classifying, or summarizing information - and an additional five tasks could be augmented to help humans work more effectively. These include using an AI summary to provide fast solutions while keeping the human touch.
New job tasks for humans might be needed to ensure the safe, accurate, and responsible use of AI such as offering unbiased information on products or pricing.
Banking and insurance are the most impacted industries, but the report also highlights the jobs that will be most impacted by technologies like ChatGPT, like office and administrative support, as well as sales. More than half of the working hours in five of the top 22 occupations listed in the report can be transformed by LLMs, meaning that the workday is set to drastically change for millions of people around the world.
Accenture is a professional services company helping businesses, governments, and organizations help their digital core, optimize operations, and enhance citizen services. It employs 738,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. The study was written by Paul Daugherty, Bhaskar Ghosh, Karthik Narain, Lan Guan, and Jim Wilson.