Artificial Intelligence is a word which can be heard everywhere now a days and introduction of Artificial Intelligence as a complete optional subject in schools has given more flames to usage versus threats of Artificial Intelligence. There are already numerous debates taking place all over world what is Artificial Intelligence and its potential threat/ benefit to society and people are seen clearly divided between threats and benefits. Let’s see, how Artificial Intelligence may have impact on the profession such as chartered accountant.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
There are a number of good definitions of Artificial Intelligence which you may find on internet. Without going into detail of these technical definitions, Artificial Intelligence may be understood as intelligence in computers created by Humans so a Computer can take decision at its own. This is a scenario where computer learns from data/algorithms and predict the result.
Don’t interpret the term prediction to astrology or related astrological terms. Prediction is computer’s judgment to given data and the result. This is something different than static data entry results where given data is turned in to accurate reports.
Example 1: You can find relevant video suggestion on a famous application “Youtube” based on your likes, preferences and subscription. BUT, it also show you result what you would like to see or what kind of video you may be interested in.
Example 2: There a good number of Apps which can take photo of the visiting cards and automatically find texts from that image and saves them in your contact list accurately in relevant fields. This is a typical example of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Usage of Artificial Intelligence in our Routine Life:
Our mobile comes with Artificially Intelligence enabled applications. Like, you may unlock your phone with camera based face recognition. You may give voice command to your phone to search something on Google and your phone converts that to text and search that on Google.
Artificial Intelligence is helping us in our daily routine life or you may say making us dependent on them. This depends on one’s perspective about Artificial Intelligence and its use but this is certainly true that artificial intelligence is around us.
Data is Key to Artificial Intelligence
Before going in to details of Role of Artificial Intelligence on CA’s profession, let see source of origin of Artificial Intelligence. There is no doubt Artificial Intelligence is also Algorithm based but here the world is talking about data driven Artificial Intelligence via machine learning or at advanced level deep learning.
This is not data of your and my phone numbers this data is more than that and it’s huge. Data can be of any type images, videos, text or combination of that or even something else and this may contain anything from your habits, likes, dislikes, network, relation etc etc etc.
A news was published in a local newspaper some months back that in china, Artificial Intelligence examines copies of students. How an Artificial Intelligence can check copy of students and award them numbers. Now here machine learning and data comes into picture. To enable AI (Artificial Intelligence) to check a copy and award marks, there is need of huge data and machine learning. So to start each and every of copy of previously passed out students were scanned. Now machine is taught to read every page and award marks accordingly. Once machine learns with a good number of data, the machine is programmed check a new copy and award answers. Accuracy of AI in such cases is good but not 100% and AI lacks creativity.
(Disclaimer: In any case, I am not relating it to ICAI’s checking of exam answer sheets over computer and any possibility of AI based checking in Future)
This is how data is key to machine learning based AI and it can be in any form. Google and Facebook are already being questioned for data these companies have which is of us. And this is the reason why “Data is Money”. With a good set of data, AI can be brought into existence.
CA’s Profession and Artificial Intelligence
AI is a two year old child right now which has just started walking. A human’s emotion, judgment and creativity is not going to be transferred to Machines or AI so easily. But there is no doubt, in coming years AI will be doing a lot of work which is being done by a professional now a day.
To be more specific, in coming years, you will definitely find some AI tools which are working for you or on your behalf. Big 4 have already started using such AI tools in collaboration with some tech companies. More or Less, the Artificial Intelligence should be taking over the clerical work of today, with a good percentage.
This will certainly change the way, we are working now. With the help of artificial intelligence you can audit 100% transaction in very short span of time which is not possible right now. With Artificial intelligence, Legal impacts of law can be easily traced in transactions or contracts. (You may like to find some info on “IBM Watson” or “Kira” or winner of Audit Innovation of the years, deloitte’s “Argus”)
It is hard for Artificially Intelligent to take over the work but it should be certainly saving lots of human hours and producing more accurate results in future.
So Artificial Intelligence is real threat?
This is already in the Air, People will lose their jobs because of Artificial Intelligence. If you go back some years back in time, you certainly would have listened these words “People will lose their jobs because of Computers”. If we analyze both statements together, we can see the relational change in jobs and skill set requirement altogether. Because of computers and its spread in every work, people didn’t lose jobs but there came the need of new computer skills.
For Munim ji’s handwritten accounts, everything changed to computerized accounting. So need was of persons who knows computers and specific software very well rather than accounting entries. One may argue that this has resulted in loosing of jobs for “Munim Ji” but use of computers has taken businesses many fold ahead with creation of number of new jobs and that was not possible without computers.
Same goes with Artificial Intelligence, there would be requirement more skills with the time and one may only imagine the increase in folds of work. Yes, but every coin has two sides and no one should ignore any side.
By Team Perfect Pixel