Danny McCance 9 May 2017 11:48am

PwC appoints its first artificial intelligence leader

The Big Four firm has appointed Euan Cameron to the newly created role of UK artificial intelligence (AI) leader just in time for the AI summit, which begins in London today

Cameron’s appointment comes alongside a raft of appointments within PwC’s senior tech leadership.

He will take control of all AI across the firm, to help clients embrace the emerging technology and coordinate PwC’s own move towards AI.

He has been a partner since 2007 and brings with him over 20 years’ experience in consulting, with a focus on the development of corporate strategy, informed by data and analytics.

The core team that Cameron will lead consists of more than 30 specialists working with AI, robotic process automation and machine learning in the UK.

PwC aims to expand this to more than 200 by 2020.

The firm is looking to drive growth in cyber security, data and analytics, tech consulting and fintech.

“Emerging technologies are already disrupting how we live and work, and their potential impact can no longer be ignored”, Jon Andrews, head of technology and investments at PwC, said.

“Artificial intelligence and automation form a key part of our targeted investment in technology, responding to high demand for expertise in these areas from our clients.

“Our ambition is that we’ll continue to grow our revenues from technology-related areas – including AI, cyber security, data analytics and fintech,” Andrews added.

Other appointments include Zubin Randeria, who will lead around 200 cyber security experts in the UK; Neil Hampson, a cyber security practice leader, to lead the data and analytics team; Mark Leaver, who will expand his existing financial services consulting role to concentrate on fintech and Madeleine Thompson, who takes on a new role in technology consulting.

Commenting on the new appointment, Cameron said, “To be successful, AI needs to be implemented as part of a broader business transformation strategy.

"We are working with our clients on three main areas: helping businesses to understand the value of AI and the opportunities it holds; supporting their full AI journey from initial projects to large-scale transformation; and providing assurance services to create trust and confidence around AI-enabled business functions."

In February, Karen Bradley, secretary of state for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that the UK can expect to receive more than £17m in funding to boost its artificial intelligence sector.