It has the potential to incrementally add 16 percent or around $13 trillion by 2030 to current global economic output – an annual average contribution to productivity growth of about 1.2 percent between now and 2030.
Several recent developments have contributed above all to the fact that artificial intelligence (AI) is currently becoming a hot topic: Cost-efficient processors, which multiply computing capacities many times over, allow the processing of huge amounts of data. And the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to collect data obtained from sensors, store it in the cloud and analyze it with the help of data science.
The areas of application are manifold
“AI is not a single technology but a family of technologies”,
emphasizes the MGI report, which is based on simulation models of the impact of artificial intelligence on the world economy at the country, sector, company and worker levels. It looked at their adoption of five broad categories of AI technologies: computer vision; natural language; virtual assistants, robotic process automation, and advanced machine learning. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Predictive maintenance in manufacturing and logistics, automated risk analyses or investment advice in finance and the reliable diagnosis of diseases in medicine are just as much a part of the foreseeable areas of application as autonomous vehicles in local transport or the foresighted fight against crime in public administration.
Here is a brief overview of possible potentials and application examples for artificial intelligence and data science.
If you want to know where your parcel is, you can already ask a chatbot at some shipping service providers. Self-regulating logistics robots, autonomous transport systems or the optimization of networked supply chains with the help of AI are also already being tested. Self-learning algorithms calculate the optimal route planning – including such imponderables as weather and traffic. The potential to optimize work processes is therefore there – nevertheless, in Germany, for example, only 26 percent of companies use AI in their logistics processes. This was the result of the survey “Artificial intelligence – the future of logistics?” conducted by the Aachen-based software company Inform.
“The application possibilities for AI technologies in production range from maintenance to logistics and quality management to resource planning,” a study by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany names many concrete examples taken from practice. According to a calculation by McKinsey consultants, the global automotive industry alone could increase its yield by a maximum of nine percentage points by 2025. “Up to 61 billion dollars could be saved in production, for example through AI-based vehicle quality control,” the analysts state.
Although this is all about numbers, AI is still a niche in the banking and insurance industry. “This is all the more astonishing since this technology can create enormous competitive advantages and offers the potential for numerous innovations,” says a study from Switzerland. In a recent report, the consulting firm Roland Berger lists credit checks, rating or risk analysis and automated investment decisions as possible areas of application. AI tools could also help to identify and prevent fraud.
According to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, AI in healthcare can help to detect diseases earlier, provide better care for people and reduce spending in Europe alone by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years. In the future, many routine processes could be delegated to intelligent diagnostic tools and learning computer systems.
From safety and traffic control to improving energy efficiency, there are many conceivable options – but there is usually still a lack of concrete AI applications in public administration today. The biggest obstacles: Strict data protection guidelines and low data quality as well as inconsistent and incomplete data structures. “Artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, but change does not spare authorities either,” writes the consulting firm Accenture in a study. The study assumes that by 2035 AI will be able to create additional added value totalling 939 billion dollars in the public sector of the 16 largest developed economies: “This will make taxpayers’ money about 25 percent more productive and effective”.
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