What does an AI-based future look like for companies?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next frontier that companies are looking to reach. A few years back, we’ve seen robots only in Hollywood movies where they co-exist with humans or in some cases, even take over the world and manipulate us.

Well, if those sights intimidated you, then you’ll be surprised to know that none of that is going to happen, at least not in our lifetime.

As a society, we have just begun our journey into the world of AI, fueled in part by development in technologies such a cloud, machine learning, storage, sensors and more.

From the perspective of companies that have taken a plunge into AI, the future looks fantastic. According to a report by Accenture Research and Frontier Economics, AI technologies are likely to fuel the profits of companies in the future. In fact, it may even be the driving force within the next couple of decades.

The report states that AI technologies can increase economic growth by an average of 1.7 percent across all the 16 industries it examined. Out of these, Information and Communication will get the highest benefit with an increase of 4.8 percent followed by manufacturing that can expect a growth of 4.4 percent. Financial services is also likely to join the party and have an economic growth of about 4.3 percent. These are the top three sectors that will gain from AI technologies, though other 13 industries will also see benefit in one form or another.

All this will increase output by $14 trillion that’ll be spread across 12 economies. And all this within the next couple of decades.

In addition, the report says that by 2035, this technology can increase productivity by a whopping 40 percent.

Where will much of these automation happen?

Education is expected to top the list at 84 percent followed by food services, construction and retail. If you look closely, many of the tasks in these sectors are fairly routine and can be performed without the need for human intervention. Such jobs would obviously be handed over to machines, and this can free up more time for humans to do other productive work.

On one side, there’s much debate about how automation will kill jobs and cause economies to stagnate. While this is true to some extent, it doesn’t take into account many factors. When automation starts spreading, undoubtedly many lower and middle class jobs will be lost. At the same time, they will be replaced by opportunities at the higher end where people can create machines, manage them and even come up with creative ways to put them to good use.

This way, jobs will not be lost, rather they will simply shift from one sector to another. It’ll be similar to what happened when the U.S moved from a manufacturing economy to a services one. We can expect a similar change to happen, and this will be a positive one not just for business, but for economies and for humans as a whole.

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