Investing in and training for artificial intelligence (AI) is a prominent trend in business and beyond. Recent economic news, particularly from the Future Talent Council’s Global Advisory Board on Curriculum Innovation, highlights companies’ significant investments in developing proprietary generative AI models and extensive training programs. These efforts aim to upskill their workforce, outpacing competitors rapidly.
Professional services firms are heavily investing in AI and training. EY is allocating $1.4 billion to develop EY.ai, its large language model. KPMG plans a $2 billion investment in AI and cloud services over five years. Accenture is dedicating $3 billion to its data and AI practice expansion. PwC is investing $1 billion in US-based generative AI projects over three years.
In training, EY will upskill 400,000 employees in AI, while Deloitte has announced a $1.4 billion technology training plan, including AI. Reflecting this trend, LinkedIn reports that AI-related job postings have more than doubled in two years.
The scope of AI
On the job market front, a study by the Institute for the Future of Work, Imperial College London, and Warwick Business School reveals a positive outlook. Surveying 1,000 UK firms, 86% of which use AI, 78% reported AI-induced job creation. Additionally, 83% acknowledged an urgent need for new skill training due to AI integration. Amy Webb, CEO of the Future Today Institute, suggests viewing AI beyond cost management, focusing on its potential to boost revenue.
Echoing this, Tye Brady of Amazon Robotics emphasises that increased robotics leads to more jobs, enhancing productivity and customer experience. However, contrasting examples like Nio, a Chinese electric car company, show heavy robot investment with minimal human staff, raising profitability concerns.
The impact of AI on education is significant. The World Economic Forum report highlights the need for collaboration among educational institutions, government bodies, industry associations, and training organisations. As discussed in our book, “The Innovative Management Education Ecosystem” (published by Routledge, 2022), the educational system, though partially effective, is insufficient for massive upskilling and reskilling.
Challenges and solutions
Even with 15,000 business schools globally, the scale of necessary AI training far exceeds current capabilities. This challenge extends to other fields like engineering, medicine, and architecture.
The broader debate on AI’s impact on humanity is complex. Experts like David Shrier acknowledge AI’s paradoxical nature—it presents significant challenges to labour and the economy yet offers solutions to critical issues like inclusion, equity, climate change, and health. While opinions vary, the urgency for individuals and organisations to adapt to AI advancements is clear.
Jordi Diaz is Dean of EADA Business School & Director of EFMD Executive Academy