Line Nørgaard is a Manager in KPMG’s NextGen Operations (NEO) team and has been a part of KPMG for two and a half years. Line sits with the teams specialised in the implementation of new technologies, specifically machine learning and quantum tech. She is a project manager with a background in Digital Design and Communication from ITU and can be found speaking about AI at conferences in Denmark and internationally.


What’s the main barrier to implementing AI?

Line: Without a doubt, it would be underestimating the culture and the people. AI is not about tech, it's about people, their needs and their understanding of the value they derive from AI. From a business and tech perspective, implementing AI can make perfect sense – but the slightest resistance to AI will prevent you from succeeding.

I once worked on a project to implement a chatbot in the HR function where the idea was to make employee benefits, packages and rules more widely available to all, and free up the HR employees’ inboxes. I went from experiencing angry employees to a team that wanted to implement a chatbot-first communication strategy with the rest of the organisation, all within three months. The key was to keep digging for that resistance to change and reassure the HR team that they would still provide value to the company, as they always have, but in a more efficient way.

Some people fear the loss of control over a process or over their expertise. But their expertise is very needed when we build the solution together – we’re skilled in AI, not in knowing the client’s company culture or protocols. I spend a lot of time on ensuring that they feel like we're helping them solve issues before they occur and that we’re constantly aligned on the strategy and execution.

"AI is not about tech, it's about people, their needs and their understanding of the value they derive from AI"

Line Nørgaard
Line Nørgaard

What difference does implementing AI make for an organisation?

Line: AI makes such a difference for organisations – I can think of at least three points.

1. AI enables employees do tasks that they can’t do today at a faster pace, with more data points and with increased quality. Especially if what is being automated is a manual process.

2. It helps organisations become more data-driven by gaining a larger data foundation, and really understand their current processes. This is significant because newer legislations require some processes to be executed in a uniform way, thereby minimising errors – so getting a hang of these earlier rather than later is an advantage.

3. And then lastly, I think it also helps employees do what humans are best at: critical and creative thinking, not mundane tasks. Removing repetitive and manual processes from people frees up cognitive space and improves the quality of work – and how much you enjoy it too.

What should organisations be aware of when investing in AI?

Line: Bias is prevalent in AI, and it unfortunately starts quite early in the development process. Bias comes from groupthink so I would always recommend having a diverse team working on developing the AI solution to play devil’s advocate and ask questions from all kinds of perspectives. If that’s not possible, then find someone who can challenge your algorithm and approach with fresh eyes.

Consider also what historic data you feed the AI with – historic data can be biased. If you only use historic data, it is unlikely you will have different future results. As a basic example, if banks only used historic data to sell loans, then women would be challenged in getting loans.

Lastly, invest in the development of a good user interface as this will be instrumental in facilitating the tool’s adoption internally. ChatGPT is such a good example of why design matters. It has democratised the access to Generative AI and increased people’s confidence in using it. I can feel that when talking to clients – now they are keener to hearing more about what AI can do than they were previously.

Is there something you'd like to challenge our perspective on?

Line: Implementing AI is about listening, really understanding people on a deeper level, and not mastering tech. People often think consulting equals to number crunching, but I think soft skills are what makes a really successful consultant. Being a strong communicator and having discussions in a really calm way creates far better results for any project. It's not just AI we are working with, we’re primarily ensuring that everyone understands why and what we're doing, as well as when and how we're doing it. Someone once asked me how I could work in tech with my design background – well, it’s possible and even very common!

What do you love the most about your work?

Line: I really love how explorative it is and that no two days are the same. I am constantly developing because there are new processes and solutions to work on for every project. When working with new technologies, you must be curious and open-minded and challenge yourself to think outside of the box, because implementing AI can vary vastly from one project to the other. It keeps me on my toes.

It's a huge privilege to be able to build the digital future for companies and know that you’re creating something that will bring value in the long haul. I personally feel the happiest and most accomplished when clients take ownership of what we've done and are proud of the solution. It’s incredibly rewarding.

I also believe that KPMG generally has the nicest people that I've ever worked with. Everyone is kind, clever and has this go-do mentality, which I really enjoy being around.

"It's a huge privilege to be able to build the digital future for companies"