The services industries of accountancy and law are now defined by AI

EasyTranslate CEO Frederik R. Pedersen looks into how Danish companies are embracing generative AI to revolutionise service industries like translation, accountancy, and law.
The services industries of accountancy and law are now defined by AI

It’s not a bad time to be Danish in 2024. Our Queen has just abdicated to make way for a new and younger King and in the business world we are known for much more than LEGO bricks and Carlsberg beer.

Novo Nordisk, creator of Wegovy, is one of the world’s most valuable companies and Danish companies are rapidly embracing generative AI as the ChatGPT revolution continues. 

The speed of generative AI has been, is and will be astonishing, something I know as the CEO of a (Danish) translation company, but the disruption of service industries such as ours has been coming for a long time.

Like translation, the once-sacrosanct service industries of accountancy and the law are being hugely disrupted by AI. The former industry used to be a mass of paper and receipts managed by a human who did the dirty work for clients. An analogue industry if there ever was one.

Now, however, there are humans working with AI who will provide a better and faster accountancy service; a completely disruptive service to the one that preceded it. This frees up people to be more creative when they know that their time is better spent. It’s good not just for AI and humans working together, it’s also great for humans doing other things.

There have to be humans working together with AI. Recently in the UK, the Horizon scandal underscored how technology without humans can go rogue. That scandal lasted decades. If it happened today, AI and humans working together would have sorted it out in weeks.

Then there’s the justice system, the law, and the lawyers who work within it. Lawyers who spent years of training, wielding huge books based on law and precedent with sheaves of paper to look at are now being helped by AI systems that render all of this pointless. The most complicated written or typed documents can now be accessed in moments, not months.

AI is here to stay and is moving fast, but human involvement in decision-making processes such as these is critical to ensure quality and reliability. It's about the perfect balance of human and machine for as long as possible and making that balance even more perfect by both ‘systems’ learning from each other.

There have to be so-called Humans In the Loop to prevent machines from stomping over humans, but this atavistic fear is something that we should, perhaps, get over.

The taxation system that largely relies on self-regulation is being transformed by AI which means there is no need for phone numbers or even email communication between taxpayers and their government. Receipts for countries are likely to jump in value because taxpayers will be forced by AI to be more honest. 

Taxpayers may even regret previous tax years when they were economical with the truth; AI will know what you did last summer and the summer before that… and the summer before that. It will be humans AND AI who decide that tricky issue.

Of course, AI is here forever and the human survivors are the ones who stay in the loop for now, but realise that there will be two types of jobs and service industries in the future, those who are ruled by AI and those who work with it. 

Translation companies are doing it, accountancy companies are doing it and law firms are doing it; the tax man will soon do it. They have to if they’re going to stay in business. But it’s the way they do it that’s important and that’s where the future really lies.

All service industries, not just accountancy and law, face a future defined by AI and assisted by humans, it just depends on which humans stay in the game and how they manage to make love to those machines. That’s the only game in town.

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