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IBM introducing AI consultants for its consultants

Big Blue says that its new IBM Consulting Assistants helped their human users boost their productivity by up to 50% in early trials.

By Greg Noone

IBM has announced it is rolling out a new AI services platform to support its roster of 160,000 consultants in their day-to-day work with external clients. Named IBM Consulting Advantage, the new platform includes generative AI assistants capable of supporting their human counterparts in tasks including business case development, code generation or creating personas for user-centric design. According to Big Blue, early trials of these models, dubbed IBM Consulting Assistants, saw the productivity of their human users boosted by up to 50%.

“Generative AI is driving the most fundamental shift in the consulting model in decades, motivating us to rapidly innovate how we serve clients,” said IBM Consulting’s chief operating officer, Mohamad Ali. “The IBM Consulting Advantage platform lets us harness more of our intellectual property, including an array of AI assistants, in our client engagements. This allows our consultants to be even more creative and productive as they use the platform to deliver greater value faster to thousands of our clients.”

An image of the IBM logo, used to illustrate a story about its new IBM Consulting Assistants.
IBM is the latest firm to introduce assistive generative AI models for its staff, in this case making its IBM Consulting Assistants available to its 160,000-strong army of human consultants. (Photo by Maurice Norbert/Shutterstock)

Choice of IBM Consulting Assistants available to human consultants

IBM Consulting Assistants will be accessible through a natural language interface underpinned by IBM’s commercial generative AI platform, IBM watsonx. Consultants can choose from among several models best suited to the task at hand, said Big Blue. “The interface also enables easy uploading of project-specific documents for rapid insights that can then be shared into common business tools.”

One of the first places where IBM Consulting Assistants will be deployed to assist consultants in the field will be Dun & Broadsheet, said Big Blue, where the models will be used to support efforts at the data analytics firm to find new use cases for AI powered by its in-house data cloud and IBM watsonx. IBM added that its new generative AI assistants are outfitted with “AI guardrails” that allow the consultant to personally audit the model by “ask[ing] one of the Assistants a question and select[ing] an option to check for bias in the answer.” These are complemented by other options such as a special privacy mode that prevents the storage of data for training purposes, and alerts for when personal identifiable information appears in its prompts.

IBM’s consultants will not be the first of their ilk to harness generative AI. Earlier this month, Deloitte announced that 75,000 of its staff would be granted access to PairD, an assistive model it claimed could help employees write emails, code and PowerPoint presentations. Accountancy giant EY, too, has been using chatbots to augment their work with clients.

Read more: IBM reveals new modular quantum computing system

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