Partners at UK professional services firm PwC received payouts averaging £906,000 for the fiscal year ending in June — down from over £1m in 2022 — the decrease coming due to internally lauded investment in new technologies including AI, reported The Times.
Mostly, the £100m invested in AI capabilities has been used to investigate how employees can use emerging technologies in the future.
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According to senior UK partner Kevin Ellis, who oversaw such developments, AI had been “the story of the year”.
Going forward, the company plans wider integration of the technology, with Ellis telling The Times: “If ever there was a time to invest for the medium and long term, from which we’ll all benefit as partners, it’s now”.
He added: “Legal is the testbed, and from that we can go into, say, tax or into deals. If it works for us in one part [of the business], can we evolve it elsewhere?”
Research from Thomson Reuters reveals that three quarters of legal professionals globally said that productivity was the biggest positive impact of artificial intelligence, while 67 per cent cited efficiency.
Additionally, 81 per cent of law firm staff expect new services that will create new revenue streams to emerge within the next five years, while 55 per cent see AI as an opportunity to increase revenue, while lowering costs.
4,000 of PwC’s 26,000 UK staff were said by Ellis to spend most of their working days on “technology-driven activities”, but while new tech may replace administrative tasks, the senior partner remains uncertain on how AI will affect job numbers in the long run.
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