KPMG plans to implement IBM’s Watson technology, a cognitive software platform that uses natural language processing to understand questions, then analyse structured and unstructured data to provide an answer or solution.

The new partnership extends on existing agreements between the software provider and KPMG’s other member firms in the US and UK.

Speaking with InvestorDaily, KPMG Australia’s national managing partner for innovation Ken Reid said the company was “starting the journey” to implement cognitive technologies internally.

“We see cognitive technology as very important to professional services, and our short-term goals are to experiment and learn more about the technology, and explore how it can be best applied to our business,” he said.

“We genuinely believe it’s a game changer.”

This sentiment was echoed by KPMG’s national managing partner of audit, Duncan McLellan, who said in a statement that the new platforms would “change how the value of audit is perceived” by markets.

“Already, data and analytics techniques are transforming audit by allowing analysis of much bigger populations of data than traditional sampling from which to draw conclusions,” Mr McLennan said.

KPMG is already working on client-focused cognitive platforms with its Solution 49 team, with the new IBM alliance focused internally.

Mr Reid said IBM Watson will help the company redesign and rethink its “existing services and processes”.

“This technology is here now and it’s here to stay; there’s a huge amount of interest and investment going into cognitive technologies so I’m excited we’ve done a deal with IBM,” he said.  

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