Editorial Manager/US Team Lead
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Editor's Corner: Let the AI Discussion Begin

Aug 31st 2017
Editorial Manager/US Team Lead
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To be fair, some of you may have already begun discussing, or hearing discussions about Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning in particular entering the accounting space.

For the many of you that haven’t or still want answers on how this next level of automation will impact the tools you already use and how you work with clients overall, we started a discussion for you.

That’s right, just as you were all starting to get comfortable, or at least used to what cloud is and how you might use it in your practice and with your clients, now comes AI and Machine Learning. What fresh hell is this, you may ask? Fear not.

Our recent chat with key executives from Sage, Intuit, Xero and even IBM should serve to demystify or at the least calm some nerves about this next technological wave and its potential impact on the profession…well, from a vendor’s perspective anyway. Specifically, we engaged in a live video conversation with the likes of:

  • Jennifer Warawa -- EVP - Partners, Accountants & Alliances at Sage
  • Kriti Sharma -- VP - Bots and Artificial Intelligence, Sage
  • Leon Katsnelson -- Director & CTO, Analytic Platform Emerging Technologies, IBM
  • Mark Rees -- GM of Small Business Products, Xero
  • Ariege Misherghi -- director of product management, accountant solutions, Intuit

Without giving away too much, we brought these individuals together because each of their companies have made independent commitments to Machine Learning within their core products – most of which accountants and small businesses use every day. IBM in particular – the creators of one of the most popular AI ‘personalities’ in Watson -- has also been public about its commitment to AI and Machine Learning in accounting as well.

Each of these individuals has their own perspective on why they are committed to AI as well as what the impact on the profession may be. Overall, our main goal with this video effort was to really begin the discussion with our audience, and of course continue it for those who already have it on their minds, around a topic that is only just emerging.

Moreover, I have personally witnessed how Cloud caught most of the profession and small business community somewhat unprepared for the impact and even fearful of its existence. As such, we did not want to see the same thing happen with AI and Machine Learning in accounting.

As is our purpose at AccountingWEB, we want to be your source of inspiration, insight and of course community. To that end, providing a forum for relevant conversations to happen is a bit part of our ‘why.’

It is not our intent for this discussion to be definitive about Machine Learning by any stretch, but again to provide more of a basis for your own debates and discussions to happen around the topic. Like it or not, it is happening and the best way to get ahead or at the very least, keep pace is to start talking about it and listen to those in the know.

You can watch the entire video below at your leisure. We hope you enjoy it and even learn from it!

Replies (1)

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By scott834porter
Aug 11th 2018 04:11 EDT

I think we have thousands of AI programs now that are geared towards accounting and money management but I think it will never ever replace human accountants on their desks.

Scott Porter

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