• Jens Rassloff, Leadership |

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most phenomenal advancements of the digital age – a multi-billion dollar growth frontier that is changing the way people work. It offers tremendous opportunity for automation and digital transformation, but with that comes challenges around security, ethics and trust.

Many enterprises are still at an early stage in their AI journey, implementing prototypes and exploring how to get value from AI, while also ensuring there are ethical and moral frameworks in place. While AI is fundamentally changing how business is run, questions still remain on how to integrate and make the most of both kinds of labor – human and digital.

To explore this further, I connected with Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, to get his views on the impact of AI on businesses across the globe.

Digital trust is a critical issue for organizations, including KPMG and Microsoft. How does Microsoft handle the issue of trust around AI?

For Microsoft, trust around AI is more than just a question of technology. For us, it means protecting people’s privacy, advancing security, and looking to the future to ensure there’s an ethical and responsible use of artificial intelligence. We will only be able to unlock the potential of AI if a strong ethical framework is in place and there is trust between those involved. For AI to be trustworthy, we believe that it must be “human-centered” and is guided by principles that are rooted in timeless values.

What most excites you about the future impact of AI technologies?

I think it is important to look ahead – not just a year, but a decade ahead. New technology, especially AI, is going to transform economies around the world and it will be a game-changer for addressing some of the world’s biggest societal issues. One issue that particularly speaks to me – and I know is also close to your heart Jens – is the sustainability of the planet. This includes concerns around climate and carbon change, clean water and the world’s oceans, the use of plastics and waste, biodiversity, and more. AI is the greatest tool we have to address some of these problems with solutions like smart agriculture and food systems, distributed energy grids and weather prediction. If we can leverage these technologies, then we will be in a better position to have a healthy planet for our future.

Can you share your thoughts on how KPMG and Microsoft, through our global alliance, leverage the power of technology for clients?

We jointly bring an ability to understand what our customers truly need, and to deliver the skills, expertise and ability required to deploy technology successfully to help our customers succeed in today’s digital world. We also bring together broader perspectives that customers are looking for us to assist with, such as questions around trust, ethics, privacy and security. Technology is vital, but equally important is our ability to put it to work effectively and securely for our customers – and this is where KPMG and Microsoft are strong together.

Thank you, Brad, for your insights. The discussions around the power of AI and how we responsibly develop, manage and implement it, will continue as technology and adoption evolves. 

Please watch our video of Brad Smith for more insights.