Learning & Development, Technology

Big-Name Companies Demonstrate Faith in AI with Massive Training Investments

As advances in, and rapidly expanding access to, artificial intelligence (AI) tools continue to grab headlines, most observers—even the most technologically savvy—acknowledge that the future capabilities and applications of this new technology are unknown and difficult to predict.

ai training

This has led many companies to take a wait-and-see approach to how to leverage AI in their operations.

Big Brands Betting on AI’s Potential

Several prominent companies, though, are making massive bets on AI’s potential in their businesses. As Jena McGregor reports in an article for Forbes, executives at consulting and accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) began discussing AI’s potential in their business in earnest early in 2023.

“Within four months, the U.S. arm of the accounting and consulting giant had announced a $1 billion investment over three years into the new technology, expanding its AI solutions for clients, establishing a partnership with Microsoft and OpenAI and investing in AI training for its 75,000 people,” writes McGregor. “The initiative has been led by Atkinson and Mohamed Kande, the U.S. firm’s Consulting Solutions Co-Leader, who is expected to be named PwC’s next global chair. Yolanda Seals-Coffield, the firm’s chief people officer, is helping lead the upskilling efforts and other talent changes.”

What’s the Future Role of Human Labor? 

The obvious conclusion from these investments is that big companies are confident in the utility of AI for their businesses and in creating and maintaining competitive advantages over competitors. Perhaps less obvious, however, is the signal these investments send about the role of human labor in a future AI-powered economy.

Companies like PwC aren’t just investing in AI itself—they’re also investing heavily in training human workers to better use AI. While AI, in its current form, might be great for digesting massive amounts of data and generating quality content, there’s still the need for humans to put those abilities to productive and profitable use within organizations.

Big international businesses in the “knowledge economy” are making major investments in AI technology, as well as training for human workers to leverage that technology. These investments signal that while AI may one day significantly replace human workers, in the nearer term, companies are seeing the need for humans and AI to work together.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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