Artificial intelligence to add $15tn to world economy

Artificial intelligence technologies could contribute more than $15tn to the world economy by 2030, according to a new report published by Price Waterhouse Coopers.

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In PwC’s broad definition, Ai is “a collective term for computer systems that can sense their environment, think, learn and take action in response to what they’re sensing and their objectives.”

Around $6.6tn of new profits will be gained from increased productivity arising from businesses increasingly automate processes and augment their workforces with artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

Furthermore, $9.1tn will arise from consumption side-effects as consumers move towards more personalised and higher-quality goods.

AI researcher at PwC, Anand Rao explained: “The mindset today is man versus machine. What we see as the future is man and machine together can be better than the human.”

According to PwC research, the US, as the world’s second-biggest economy, will gain more than any other country from AI because of the high proportion of gross domestic product derived from manufacturing.

North American consumers and industries in particular were cited as being more ready to incorporate AI than others.

The impact of AI on China is expected to be even greater than that on the US. AI could increase China´s annual growth rate by 1.6% to 7.9% by 2035 in terms of gross value added – which equates to an additional $7tn to the Chinese economy.

Defining artificial intelligence

In PwC’s broad definition, Ai is “a collective term for computer systems that can sense their environment, think, learn and take action in response to what they’re sensing and their objectives.”

AI reportedly works in four ways:

Automated intelligence – automation of manual/cognitive and routine/non-routine tasks.

Assisted intelligence – helping people to perform tasks faster and better.

Augmented intelligence – helping people to make better decisions.

Autonomous intelligence – automating decision making processes without human intervention.

During a talk in Dalian (China), where the report was presented, Tom Mitchell, a professor of machine learning at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, commented: “AI will stir up the labour market significantly.

“Computers, poor at recognizing images and items a decade ago, have gone from 50% accuracy to 95%, and now can use a higher intelligence, different than hearing and seeing, that involves a chain of logical reasoning.

“Some jobs are being eliminated, many routine clerical jobs, toll booth operators. There are other jobs, like doctor jobs, where AI is not replacing them, but making them better by augmenting their capabilities. There’s another force at work where AI and information technology more broadly are creating new kind of business models, like Uber.”

According to Tyler Cowen, economic professor of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and co-author of the economics blog Marginal Revolution, “Fast technological advances have helped Silicon Valley giants grow over the past 15 years, but now more work must be done to boost economic growth for a wider range of people.”