Deloitte rolls out AI chatbot to employees

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Deloitte is rolling out a generative artificial intelligence chatbot to 75,000 employees across Europe and the Middle East to create power point presentations and write emails and code in an attempt to boost productivity.

The Big Four accounting and consulting firm first launched the internal tool, called “PairD”, in the UK in October, in the latest sign of professional services firms rushing to adopt AI.

However, in a sign that the fledgling technology remains a work in progress, staff were cautioned that the new tool may produce inaccurate information about people, places and facts.

Users have been told to perform their own due diligence and quality assurance to validate the “accuracy and completeness” of the chatbot’s output before using it for work, said a person familiar with the matter.

Unlike rival firms, which have teamed up with major market players such as ChatGPT maker OpenAI and Harvey, Deloitte’s AI chatbot was developed internally by the firm’s AI institute.

The roll out highlights how the professional services industry is increasingly adopting generative AI to automate tasks.

Big Four rival PwC is using AI chatbots in its legal and tax divisions to speed up the work of its employees by summarising large documents and identifying compliance issues. Law firm Allen & Overy has also created an AI contract negotiation tool that drafts new agreements that lawyers can then amend or accept.

Deloitte said its “PairD” tool can be used by staff to answer emails, draft written content, write code to automate tasks, create presentations, carry out research and create meeting agendas.

The adoption of AI comes at a time when professional services firms are seeking to reduce costs amid a slowdown in demand for some of their services in a difficult economic environment. The Big Four — Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC — have all announced redundancy programmes in recent months.

Costi Perricos, generative AI leader at Deloitte, said the rollout of PairD was “part of [the firm’s] long-term AI investment plans, as we continue to explore the potential that this technology could offer our firm, our clients and wider society”.

He added: “A key focus for employers should be on how to use these new tools safely, so that they can be applied correctly and create value.”

Deloitte employees are required to complete a training module before they can access the tool.

The Big Four firm said it will provide UK disability charity Scope with free access to PairD.

This article has been updated to clarify that Deloitte is still in the process of rolling out its generative artificial intelligence chatbot.

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