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Beyond the basics: Making A.I. a game-changer

December 8, 2022, 2:10 PM UTC
Muqsit Ashraf, global lead for strategy at Accenture, speaks at Fortune's Brainstorm A.I. summit in San Francisco on Dec. 6, 2022.
Nick Otto for Fortune

When Accenture’s global lead of strategy Muqsit Ashraf meets with CEOs, three-quarters of those he speaks with say that data and A.I. is central to their future reinvention.

Why? “The pace and extent of disruption that is happening has accelerated,” said Ashraf. “Change has never been faster, and it actually might never be slower either.”

At Fortune’s Brainstorm A.I. conference on Tuesday, both banking giant Wells Fargo and Dutch conglomerate Philips were emblematic of that pace of rapid reinvention. Each unveiled A.I.-driven innovations in just the past eight days.

Wells Fargo debuted a new platform called Vantage, which aims to evolve along with the financial needs of the bank’s clients over time, through A.I. and machine learning.

“We are working with a wide range of clients, and these clients can be $10 million in revenue to $1 trillion in revenue, with a deep complexity of needs or something a little more lightweight,” said Reetika Grewal, executive vice president and head of digital transformation, commercial, and corporate and investment bank at Wells Fargo. “We wanted to make sure to drive that personalized experience that they are used to.”

Grewal said Wells Fargo has an internal A.I. center of excellence, which sits at the top of the organization and works closely with all lines of business to make sure the bank employs models properly, sets the right checks and balances, and ensures the right A.I. partnerships are put in place.

“There is often a technology-driven decision and then a line of business-driven decisions,” said Grewal. “The right model is that deep, deep partnership to make sure you are doing things the right way and validating the use cases to make sure they are going to deliver on the promise.”

Philips in late November launched a new platform with A.I.-enabled algorithms and workflows that can connect radiology, cardiology, pathology, and oncology to unite data and images, enabling a faster and more definitive diagnosis.

Reema Poddar, president and CEO of diagnostics and pathway informatics at Philips, said the problem this tool was trying to solve began with the pressure that the healthcare system experienced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Offices in radiology, as an example, faced a shortage of staff and even a shortage of skills. Enormous workloads piled up and fatigue set in. 

So Philips began to talk to their customers, to better understand the real problems they were facing, and ultimately develop tools that would create value for those businesses by driving productivity and innovation. 

“AI is important, we all know it, and data is critical to drive business outcomes,” said Poddar. “But one thing we often forget in the digital transformation is how automation plays a huge role.” Philips’ latest platform aims to simplify workflows to reduce variability and staff workload, while also creating a better experience for physicians and patients.

Ashraf said Accenture research shows that companies that are effectively using A.I. to power their reinvention are reaping the reward: with 40% or greater equity market performance and a tripling of revenue growth across certain industries. A.I.-driven revenue is expected to triple from 2018 to 2024. 

“A.I. will have a more central impact, and a more profound impact, on the growth of most companies,” said Ashraf.

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