KPMG Australia has joined PwC in deploying AI to get some work done, finally giving us the “robots taking your job” scenario we’ve been eager for since at least 2010. It’s here!
Funny enough, KPMG blocked staff from using ChatGPT a little less than two months ago, though it did allow certain IT professionals to play around with it for the purpose of discovering use cases. It seems that search was a success.
KPMG is using a customised version of ChatGPT to help assemble sales proposals for winning new client work, an application of artificial intelligence chatbots that will dramatically cut the time spent on what is a dreaded part of the consulting job.
The KymChat tool can securely access internal data to quickly find experts within a 10,000-strong consulting team for use in proposals.
“The first-use case is finding people in the business,” said John Munnelly, KPMG’s chief digital officer.
“For example, ‘who do I talk to about transfer pricing in Sydney?’ It will give you back a bunch of names that have those skills on their internal CV. We can then say, ‘write me a 200-word summary for this specialist person’ to put straight into the proposal.”
Can it be used to write resignation emails? Probably not.
In a press release, KPMG says it is one of only a handful of companies globally to be given access to develop a private version of the tool, thanks to a partnership with Microsoft. KymChat (how do we feel about that name?) gets some help from the fifth largest supercomputer in the world, according to Top500 that’s Oak Ridge Laboratory’s ‘Summit’ which seems unlikely. We’ve reached out to KPMG to find out more about this processing power but it’s the middle of the night over there so we’ll update if we hear back.
KymChat will be integrated with Microsoft Teams (aren’t you excited!) and staff can access it via a digital assistant on their desktops and phones. Over time the AI will be trained for “specific purposes” which sounds really ominous but is probably incredibly boring.
“This proprietary solution will support the firm’s culture of innovation, boost efficiencies and create a better people experience,” KPMG Chief Digital Officer John Munnelly said. “The information provided will better enable cross-team collaboration and help those new to the firm with a more seamless and efficient people-navigation experience.”
“It’s early days, but we expect the KymChat model to rapidly improve as we add new data and train it to perform new tasks. We’ll continually add new use cases – including some from an internal staff crowd-sourcing exercise that has already generated over 60 ideas,” Mr Munnelly said.
Asked how it feels about being put to work at accounting firms, ChatGPT provided the following statement (after the obligatory part about AI language models not having feelings or emotions):
It’s important to note that while AI tools can be very helpful, they are not a replacement for human expertise and judgment. Rather, they are a tool that can assist humans in their work, enabling them to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.
Overall, the use of AI technology like ChatGPT in accounting firms can be seen as a positive development, as it can help firms to work more efficiently, provide better services to their clients, and stay competitive in an increasingly technology-driven business landscape.
KPMG unveils cutting-edge, ‘private’ ChatGPT software [KPMG]