The Financial Times reports that accounting and consulting giant Deloitte has introduced a new AI-powered chatbot called “PairD” to its workforce in an effort to increase productivity. The chatbot, which uses generative AI technology, was rolled out to 75,000 employees across Europe and the Middle East in October 2022 after initial pilots in the UK.
PairD acts as a digital assistant that can help Deloitte staff with various tasks including drafting emails and presentations, writing code, conducting research, and creating meeting agendas. The goal is to automate some of the more repetitive elements of employees’ work so they can focus on higher value tasks.
However, Deloitte acknowledges that generative AI is still an emerging technology and cautioned staff to validate the accuracy of PairD’s output before using or sharing it externally. Employees were required to complete mandatory training on how to safely and responsibly use the new chatbot.
The rollout comes at a time when professional services firms are aggressively adopting AI tools to not only boost productivity but also reduce costs amidst economic uncertainty. Rivals like PwC are already using AI in divisions like legal and tax. Law firms are also following suit with AI contract analysis tools.
While new technologies often spark fears of job losses, Deloitte views PairD as complementing and supporting its workforce rather than replacing roles. The chatbot handles some of the more mundane elements of jobs to free up employee time.
It’s clear generative AI marks an exciting new frontier for enterprises. However, education on ethical use plus human oversight remains critical, especially as the technology continues to mature. Deloitte’s cautious and transparent rollout of PairD provides a responsible model for others to follow. As more companies inevitably pursue AI assistants, maintaining trust with users will be paramount.