PwC Canada’s generative AI bet: CA$200M to secure growth

 PwC Canada’s generative AI bet: CA$200M to secure growth

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PwC Canada, a leading professional services firm, has just announced its plan to invest CA$200M over the next three years. The investment will help in expanding and scaling its generative artificial intelligence (AI) offerings. PwC Canada’s generative AI investment aims to help its clients reimagine their businesses by harnessing the power of AI.

This news comes just a month after PwC US announced its US$1 billion investment in AI. Collectively, it improves PwC’s capacity to provide tech-enabled and human-led solutions, in line with its worldwide strategy, The New Equation.

Recently, PwC conducted its 26th Annual CEO Survey on a range of business issues in detail. As per that, 25% of Canadian CEOs believe their companies won’t be around in ten years if they stay on current course and don’t reform.

“We are at a point of inflection–in business and society. Generative AI has the potential to transform the way we live and work, and will reshape our clients’ business models for products and services. Our investment builds on PwC’s ability to bring ‘human-led and tech-powered’ solutions to our clients and our people, and underscores our core purpose and strategy: to build trust and solve important problems.”

Chris Dulny, Chief Digital, Data and Innovation Officer, PwC Canada

The company says its commitment solidifies its position as an AI frontrunner, driving innovation and delivering value to clients. By infusing additional resources into AI research, development, and implementation, PwC Canada aims to better deliver innovative solutions to clients. By harnessing these capabilities, businesses unlock new opportunities, improve decision-making, and gain a competitive edge.

Also read: BenchSci raises CA$95M funding for better drug discovery AI

PwC Canada’s generative AI plans feature strong partnership with Microsoft

The large investment includes a market-leading partnership with Microsoft. With that partnership, PwC aims to alter how it helps its clients leverage generative AI. Further, it plans to create scalable products utilizing OpenAI’s GPT-4/ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service.

In addition, the investment will speed up recruiting of STEM talent as well as upskilling its 9,000 employees in AI technologies and skills. This investment further expands PwC’s current initiatives to upskill two million Canadians in digital skills by 2025. Moreover, it plans a stronger emphasis on sharing its pro-bono capabilities to increase its social impact.

“The potential for AI to create new business value for customers across Canada has never been more tangible and accelerated. Through this new collaboration, PwC will utilize Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to enhance their capabilities and offer cutting-edge customer solutions, backed by Azure’s trusted enterprise-grade features and AI-optimized infrastructure. Together, we share a common vision of enabling digital transformation with generative AI to unleash the potential of businesses across Canada.”

Chris Barry, President, Microsoft Canada

For clients across a range of industries, including insurance, aviation, as well as healthcare, PwC has already begun integrating capabilities within Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service.

Also read: Generative AI startup Cohere raises US$270M in new funding

Interesting times for generative AI in Canada

PwC Canada’s investment also strengthens the broader AI ecosystem in Canada, attracting talent and investments to the region. This influx of resources and expertise can undoubtedly foster collaboration, research, and development, reinforcing Canada’s position as an AI innovation hub.

However, the announcement comes at an interesting time in the generative AI landscape in Canada. Generative AI, a powerful subset of AI, empowers machines to create original content, designs, or ideas based on existing data and patterns. Amidst concerns with AI and its public use, four provinces officially joined hands to investigate ChatGPT in Canada. On the other hand, tech startups continue to drive the industry forward. Cognosys AI just announced its fundraise from Google Capital to drive growth of autonomous AI agents.

PwC Canada’s CA$200 million investment indeed signifies the growing importance of AI in transforming business landscapes. This investment could push other organizations to explore AI adoption and invest in building their own AI capabilities.

Also read: Sequoia Capital splits into 3 new independent partnerships


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