Strategy

PwC will start offering ChatGPT to clients

AI gets embedded in the Big Four in a big way.
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It’s been a rough week or so for headlines on generative AI. OpenAI was accused of copying Scarlett Johansson’s voice, while Google was mocked for AI-powered search results that included advice to put glue in pizza sauce.

Now, though, OpenAI has some news it actually wants to share: PwC will license ChatGPT Enterprise for 100,000 employees in the US and UK, making it OpenAI’s largest customer for the B2B version of the chatbot. Not just that, but PwC will also offer it to clients as a reseller, the first such deal and one that gives a Big Four imprimatur to OpenAI’s campaign for wider and deeper adoption across the corporate world.

PwC and OpenAI didn’t share how much they’d be paying the other for licenses or reselling, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, but PwC’s top executive for products and technology did say that the deal is part of its plan, announced in April 2023, to invest $1 billion in generative AI over three years.

PwC’s competitors are also benefiting from the move to AI, the Wall Street Journal reported. Accenture, KPMG, and EY “have also invested billions in generative AI to expand their work with clients through the technology,” reporter Belle Lin wrote.

As consultants invest, clients spend: Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst John-David Lovelock forecast in April that 2024 would be “an inflection year for this trend, with more money being spent on consulting than internal staff for the first time.” Gartner expects IT services spending to jump nearly 10% this year.

The challenge. Businesses have been wary of using generative AI for critical business functions, according to the Wall Street Journal, reserving it for “uses like automating customer service and summarizing emails with help from vendors or consultants before customizing their own models.”

In PwC, at least, the hesitant companies have a taste tester. “By embracing ChatGPT Enterprise across our workforce, we will bring our first-hand experience of our AI transformation to clients,” Joe Atkinson and Ben Higgin, two of the firm’s technology leaders, wrote in a press release. The firm has “already identified over 3,000 internal GenAI use cases,” they added. In other words: PwC has “entered the ‘prove it’ phase.”

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.