Professional services firm PwC has appointed Euan Cameron to the newly created role of UK artificial intelligence leader.

Working closely with its 800-plus data and analytics specialists, Cameron will collaborate with teams across the firm – from consulting to tax and deals to assurance – to embrace the shift to automation both within PwC and for its clients.

His core team consists of more than 30 artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and machine learning specialists around the UK, with plans to increase this to more than 200 by 2020.

“This year we expect to see more and more artificial intelligence initiatives move from theory to practice,” Cameron said.

“We are exploring a wide range of opportunities to deploy this technology internally, but also to help our clients with many of their critical business issues.

“Different industries are adopting robotic process automation and AI at varying rates but with the field developing so rapidly, those who wait could miss out on the myriad positive opportunities it will bring.

“To be successful, AI needs to be implemented as part of a broader business transformation strategy.

“We are working with our clients on three main areas: helping businesses to understand the value of AI and the opportunities it holds; supporting their full AI journey from initial projects to large scale transformation; and providing assurance services to create trust and confidence around AI-enabled business functions.”

Cameron has been a PwC partner since 2007, with over 20 years’ consulting experience, focusing on the development of corporate strategy and top line growth, informed by data and analytics.

Jon Andrews, head of technology and investments at PwC, commented: “Emerging technologies are already disrupting how we live and work, and their potential impact can no longer be ignored.

“Artificial intelligence and automation form a key part of our targeted investment in technology, responding to high demand for expertise in these areas from our clients.

“Technology is essential to the future success of our firm and we now employ over 1,500 technology specialists in the UK alone.

"Our ambition is that we’ll continue to grow our revenues from technology-related areas – including AI, cyber security, data analytics and FinTech."