A.I. could spur global growth as much as the steam engine did, study shows

Artificial intelligence could contribute an additional 1.2 percent to annual gross domestic product growth for at least the next decade, according to a simulation from McKinsey Global Institute.

Overall, AI could deliver $13 trillion in additional global economic activity by 2030, putting its contributions to growth on par with the introduction of other transformative technologies such as the steam engine, McKinsey said in a report released Wednesday morning Hong Kong time.

The institute’s model expects about 70 percent of companies will adopt at least one form of AI by 2030, and that a significant portion of large firms will use a full range of the technology.

AI uses large data sets and algorithms to mimic human behavior. The world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China, are both racing to invest heavily in the technology. Beijing, in particular, has made AI part of its five-year plan that runs through 2020 and wants to become a leader in the technology by 2030, the McKinsey report pointed out.

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