It has been impossible to keep ChatGPT out of news headlines around the world. With about 100 million monthly active users, it has captivated the world’s attention on the power of generative AI to augment human capability.

Generative AI has been singled out by tech consulting firm Accenture as one of the leading technology trends in 2023 that will usher a new future for businesses. 

In its report, When Atoms Meet Bits: The Foundations of Our New Reality, Accenture  estimated that globally, as much as 40 per cent of all working hours will be supported or augmented by language-based AI.

About 98 per cent of Singapore executives agreed that generative AI will spark significant creativity and innovation, and usher in a new era of enterprise intelligence, said the report which was released last week.

Accenture said in the report that generative AI will work alongside humans as their co-pilots and amplify what workers can do. It believes that generative AI will impact tasks not occupations. Some tasks will be automated and others transformed.

It highlights risks for businesses and enterprises in the deployment of generative AI including pushbacks from workers and managers and misaligned application of the technology. To meet these challenges, organisations will have to invest in training people to work with the technology, including appointing humans to ensure the accurate and responsible use of generative AI systems. 

Paul Daugherty, group chief executive of Accenture Technology, stressed in a media release, “While generative AI will have far-reaching impact, leaders must dive in now to achieve its full promise, as it will require significant investments in data, people, and customizing foundation models to meet organizations’ unique needs.”

Apart from generative AI, Accenture’s 2023 tech vision report also highlights three other trends influencing business imperatives:

  • Digital Identity: The ability to authenticate digital users and assets for traversing digital and physical worlds.

  • Your Data, My Data, Our Data: AI cannot reach its full potential until companies figure out data. That means breaking down data silos and modernising their data foundations.

  • Our Forever Frontier: Feedback loop between science and technology is getting faster, with each accelerating the advancement of the other.

Reflecting on the new trends, Accenture’s technology lead for Southeast Asia, Peter Yuan, said in the media release, “For years, the guiding pillar of enterprise innovation has been taking processes, even whole parts of the organisation, and digitising them. And while we’ve built a rich and meaningful digital world, we haven’t really reconciled it with the physical one.”

The next wave of business transformation will erase the demarcation between those worlds to fuse them into a new reality.

“The goal is not incremental improvement, but a step change towards total reinvention,” he added.

Grace Chng is Director of Verticus Consultants and Technology Writer and Author