Panel discussion between BCS Consultancy SG and BCS AI SG about the impact of the advancements of AI in consulting.
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This panel served as an opening discussion on the impact of AI advancements in consulting within both Specialist Groups, the AI and the Consulting SGs from the BCS. While automation has been a long-standing activity in IT, the unprecedented creativity of AI foretells a much larger scale of impact. Consultancy houses, governments, and research organizations predict that around 40% of all jobs will be impacted in some sort of way over the next 10 years, and consulting is no exception.
With AI's potential to reduce barriers to entry for many high-skilled roles, it raises questions about the right skills to remain relevant. Traditional soft skills such as critical thinking, cross-referencing, evidence replication, and continuous professional development are as relevant as ever in a rapidly changing technological landscape. AI is the right solution in many scenarios, but it is not a good fit for many others. Consultants will play a pivotal role in advising when to use AI and when it is counterproductive or even dangerous. We barely scratched the surface of many important topics in AI, like liability, ethics, regulation or licensing. The ecosystem around these will evolve not only from the technical side but also from its role within our society. Ensuring that the benefits of AI reach all of society will be a task where consultants can make the difference. The panel intends to continue this conversation in 2024, exploring also in greater depth the topics like regulation, liability, and ethics.
- Harvard & MIT Research at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) into effects in consultancy activities of consultants using ChatGPT:
- "Navigating the Jagged Technological Frontier: Field Experimental Evidence of the Effects of AI on Knowledge Worker Productivity and Quality”, Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 24-013
- Lilee, a LLM application developed within McKinsey for their staff to combine an LLM with hundreds of thousands of documents within the McKinsey Knowledge Base:
- “Meet Lilli, our generative AI tool that’s a researcher, a time saver, and an inspiration”, August 16, 2023.
- Blog post: McKinsey's Lilli: A Glimpse into the AI-Powered Consulting Future
- Deloitte’s research including the use of ChatGPT by UK organisations:
- The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design
- Book by Aaron Roth and Michael Kearns, ISBN: 9780190948207
About the speakers
Adrian Hopgood has worked in applied artificial intelligence for nearly 40 years. With effect from 1st October 2023, he is Emeritus Professor at the University of Portsmouth and a freelance consultant on AI and its practical applications. He is a visiting professor at the Open University, Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the BCS, and a committee member for the BCS Specialist Group on AI.
Andrew Lea is a long-time practitioner of artificial intelligence in commerce and industry, having applied it in such diverse areas as fraud investigation, space exploration, marketing and project management. Andrew originally studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and is a fellow of the BCS and the RSA.
Nadia Abouayoub is a strategist and specialist on Innovation for the Financial Sector. She is a member of the British Computer Society’s (B.C.S.) Artificial Intelligence Specialist Group Committee (S.G.A.I). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). She has a MSc. in Computing and DESS in A.I. and Databases. She has a MSc. in Formal Methods and the Security of Systems from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is a member of several committees, including the Expert Digital Panel for the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology in the UK). Nadia is active in United Nations working groups, focusing on AI.
Richard Ellis is a technical consultant with over thirty years' experience of defence, research and government consultancy. Following a career in the Royal Navy, he has worked with a wide range of government, agency and commercial clients. Richard gained an MSc in AI over 30 years ago, giving him a long term view of AI and its developments. He has developed a particular interest and knowledge of the practical application of AI, including organisational integration, predictability and ethical issues.
Alan Warr has been a management consultant focused on applying IT, Data and AI to real-world business problems for over four decades. He has master’s degrees in computer science and business management and a PhD in the strategic management of IT/Data/AI. He is a graduate of the JovianAI data science/AI bootcamp and the FacultyAI Data Engineering Fellowship. His consulting career has included senior consulting delivery roles at PA, BT, Capita & KPMG. For the last four years he has consulted from his own boutique consultancy. Throughout his consulting career he has delivered Applied AI solutions within his consulting portfolio and for the last few years this has been his main focus. Recently he has narrowed his consulting assignments to Generative AI strategies, applications & products.
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This event is brought to you by: BCS Consultancy specialist group and BCS Artificial Intelligence specialist group (SGAI)