Coding for AI, Space and the Future

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Two truths lie at the heart of tech’s impact on business. According to Accenture CTIO Paul Daugherty, the first truth is that tech innovation is accelerating exponentially, which accounts for the lightning-fast adoption of generative AI. The second truth is that every business is becoming a tech business. Daugherty details how businesses are evolving in line with technology. Some innovations are reaching to outer space and using quantum computing to counter cyber warfare.
Find out what happens behind the scenes as this professional services powerhouse sways the future of business in season 7, episode 16, From Code to Cosmos, Guiding Businesses From AI to Space, of the CES Tech Talk podcast series.  

Top Four Takeaways

  • Accenture clients benefit from the company’s highly specialized experts who analyze emerging technologies and their applications. For example, Accenture Labs applies the talents of Ph.D.-credentialed researchers located worldwide who evaluate tech developments and chart business implications. Accenture Ventures researches and invests in early-stage companies for early access to tomorrow’s most disruptive inventions.  
  • The actual and potential uses for generative AI will be key talking points for Accenture at CES 2024. While some may find this human-centric technology “scary,” as Daugherty says, he “would argue it’s the best thing for human potential and human productivity that we’ve seen to date in the digital revolution.”
  • Accenture is applying quantum computing aggressively in its R&D operations with an eye toward “quantum supremacy.” This concept views quantum computing as the next iteration of classical computing.  Daugherty explains how quantum modeling will succeed in breaking today’s encryption systems. Also, quantum simulators in the cloud will  help speed drug discovery and other health-related breakthroughs.  
  • Researchers at Accenture are plotting the next steps in space technology, and doing so across three dimensions. The first is space-to-space tech that includes mesh-based communications and payment infrastructures. Then there are space-to-earth studies that involve, for one, low-earth-orbit satellites for clearer Earth imaging. The third is earth-to-space solutions that can, for example, secure missions against satellite-directed cyber warfare.

They Said It

“[W]e are big believers in the impact of generative AI. It is a massive breakthrough that unlocks new capability and we believe it will lead to the reinvention of business. It'll redefine the leaders in each industry. Those that adopt it will be in a different position, kind of like digital and other technologies have. And we do also believe it really is a fundamental enabler of greater human potential and productivity…”
Paul Daugherty (13:13)
“I'm so looking forward to CES this year just because it's such a dynamic, exciting, overwhelming experience every year, and I'm really excited about what we're doing this year. So, for the first time, we're unveiling our annual Technology Vision at CES…We typically release it a little bit later…I'm going to have some surprise guests that are going to join me…I can't say who they are, but I think we'll have a really, a great session there on the research stage.”
Paul Daugherty (27:02)

Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Accenture

In addition to his position heading Accenture’s technology innovation, Paul Daugherty is a member of the enterprise’s Global Management Committee. He leads and executes Accenture’s technology strategy, leveraging the company’s leading-edge capabilities and R&D to reinvent the future of business. As CTIO, Paul also leads Accenture Labs and The Dock in Dublin, Ireland. He directs Accenture development of emerging tech that includes generative AI, quantum computing, and science and space tech. A passionate advocate for gender equality in the workplace and STEM-related inclusion and diversity initiatives, Paul serves on the board of directors for Girls Who Code. He also is on the boards of Computer History Museum and the Computer Science and Engineering program at the University of Michigan. Among his many credentials as a tech expert and thought leader, Paul’s expert insights have been featured content for Bloomberg TV, CIO, CNBC, Fast Company, Financial Times, Forbes, Reuters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. 

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