Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies that perform learning and reasoning in ways intended to simulate human cognitive abilities. Specific techniques and technologies include machine learning, neural networks, and large language models. The tasks that AI technologies can perform include speech recognition, computer vision, and translation between languages. AI’s development is at an inflection point, where the vast amount of data available for training, combined with the cloud’s powerful yet affordable computing power and storage capabilities, have facilitated great advances in innovative algorithms and machine learning in the past decade.
The promise of AI is that the knowledge gained from applying analytics to the wealth of data that is available today will enhance any decision-making process with additional intelligence, leading to better outcomes. The intense global interest in AI is due to its potential to boost economic growth. Recent research by McKinsey estimated that AI could potentially provide an additional $13 trillion to the world economy by 2030. This will be realized primarily through innovation in products and services, and labor automation. Other factors such as the pace of adoption of AI, global connectedness, labor-market structure, and industry structure of a country may also contribute to the size of the impact. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 states that by 2025, even though 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines, it is expected that 97 million new roles could emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms.
Adoption of AI technologies available today is transforming society and changing processes in business and government. In the private sector, AI systems can diagnose disease, improve the accuracy of home price predictions, provide simple legal services, run self-driving cars, and manage therapeutic robots in the home. In the public sector, AI can identify surveillance images, control autonomous weapons, or guide the sentencing of criminal defendants. As with any technology, AI poses challenges that need to be addressed by policy makers and all stakeholders involved in its development and deployment.