23 January 2023

Generative AI: a game changer for people, business and government

Msizi Gwala 300

Johannesburg, Monday, 23 January 2023 - Using OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the response below was generated following the prompt Write the opening paragraph for a media release about how transformative generative AI can be for business and government.

"Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise the way businesses and governments operate, enabling them to create new products and services, improve efficiency and decision-making, and drive innovation. This cutting-edge technology has the ability to generate new ideas, designs, and solutions, making it a powerful tool for organisations looking to stay competitive in today's fast-paced digital landscape."

The AI game is evolving thanks to generative AI and other foundation models, which are speeding up application development and giving non-technical people and professionals access to significant capabilities. Developments such as ChatGPT are taking technology into realms once thought to be impossible, and it is expected to continue over time. For example, there are recent reports of an AI (Claude) that has managed to pass a university level law and economic assessment. Using big data and interactions with users, these technologies can respond to searches with original content related to, amongst others, marketing, sales, and client communication; operations such as generating a list of activities for a particular task; information technology like writing, debugging and explaining computer code; risk and legal like answering complex questions; as well as creating content in multiple languages and research and development activities.

SAICA notes and welcomes developments in the Generative AI space, and encourages members and the public to exercise caution as they explore and use technologies that are becoming available. While these technologies represent significant advancement in the world of AI, business, and government alike should be mindful of the risks, ethical and practical challenges that they come with. Generative AI, while presenting exciting and fascinating tools (such as ChatGPT), can generate entirely incorrect information, be biased, and provide unethical advice or responses. Due to the possible inappropriate responses, the use of professional scepticism is necessary when interacting with such technology. These tools can also be used for malicious activities, pose a plagiarism risk, and furthermore, there remains uncertainty regarding laws on AI and the output generated.

Notwithstanding the risks, innovations that generative AI could ignite for businesses and government entities of all sizes and levels of technological proficiency are exciting. Generative AI is expected to have a transformative impact with its ability to generate new ideas, designs, and solutions. It is able to produce text and images, spanning blog posts, program code, poetry, and artwork. For the accountancy profession, this technology holds enormous potential to revolutionise the way we approach financial analysis and decision-making, enabling the profession to save time and create value. With its ability to quickly process large amounts of data and identify patterns, generative AI can help us make more informed decisions, streamline processes, and improve overall efficiency.

About SAICA

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 50 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants (CAs[SA]), as well as associate general accountants (AGAs[SA]) and accounting technicians (ATs[SA]), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

Chartered Accountants are highly valued for their versatile skill set and creative lateral thinking, that's why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ Chartered Accountants.

SAICA is a member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), a global family that connects over 1,8 million fellow Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190 countries. Together, we support, develop, and promote the role of Chartered Accountants as trusted business leaders, difference-makers, and advisers.

SAICA Media Contacts

Kgauhelo Dioka, ***@saica.co.za
Project Manager: Communications
SAICA Brand Division

Renette Human, ***@saica.co.za
Project Director: Communications
SAICA Brand Division