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Robotic hand, accessing on laptop, the virtual world of information. Concept of artificial intelligence and replacement of humans by machines.Accenture has expanded its partnership with IPsoft to accelerate the adoption and implementation of artificial intelligence technologies.

As part of the relationship the team will launch the Accenture Amelia Practice, a new consulting arm for Accenture which will develop go-to-market strategies using the IPsoft’s product offering to build virtual agent technology for customers. In the first instance, the team will target the banking, insurance and travel industries.

“Artificial intelligence is maturing rapidly and offers great potential to reshape the way that organisations conduct business and interact with their customers and employees,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s CTO “At the same time, executives are overwhelmed by the plethora of technologies and many products that are advertising AI or Cognitive capabilities.”

“With our new Accenture Amelia practice, we are taking an important step forward in advancing the business potential of artificial intelligence by combining IPsoft’s world-class virtual agent platform with Accenture’s broad technology capabilities and industry experience to help clients transform their business and operations.”

The extended partnership will focus on creating practical implementations for AI within the current business world, using automation at scale to increase organizational efficiencies. The IPsoft team have implemented the same concept with a number of customers including programs to answer invoicing queries from suppliers and front-line customer service bots.

Artificial intelligence is seemingly one of a number of new areas being prioritized by the Accenture team, as industry continues trends towards a more digitally enabled ecosystem. Recent research from highlighted the digital economy accounted for roughly 22% of the world’s total economy, with this figure predicted to rise to 25% by 2015. This figure was as low as 15% in 2005. The same research also predicts growth of new technology will continue on an upward scale, as 28% of the respondents believe the pace of change will increase “at an unprecedented rate”.

While Accenture’s business has predominantly been focused around traditional IT to date, the team’s future business will shift slightly towards disruptive technologies, building on its new business mantra ‘Every Business is a Digital Business’. AI is one of those prioritized disruptions, as it described artificial intelligence and intelligent automation as the “essential new co-worker for the digital age”.

It would appear Accenture are betting heavy on these new technologies as it claims 70% of executives are making significantly more investments in artificial intelligence technologies than they did in 2013, and 55% state that they plan on using machine learning and embedded AI solutions (like Amelia) extensively.

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