Barclays Research and IBM’s Institute for Business Value have released a new Impact Series report, entitled “AI revolution: productivity boom and beyond.” The report examines whether AI can become the final accelerator to boost productivity and what this could mean for industries and the wider economy.

Christian Keller, Head of Economics Research, commented: “The world’s demographic patterns are shifting in unprecedented ways and productivity growth in advanced economies has been disappointingly low over the past two decades, despite rapid growth of the digital economy. Harnessing AI’s productivity gains has the power to offset the decline in the skilled labour force in advanced economies and allow ageing societies to achieve economic growth.”

Ana Paula Assis, Chair and General Manager IBM EMEA, said: “AI can unlock productivity gains that will lead to significant business innovation and societal impact. We are witnessing a pivotal moment where AI has become a multi-purpose technology, with applications that have the potential to reinvent virtually every workflow and process, as well as transform the work of professionals both those who are skilled and those who are low- or no-skilled in technology.”

Findings of the report

Barclays’ Impact Series uses data-driven analysis to explore economic, demographic and disruptive changes affecting markets, sectors and society at large. The report found that for developed economies, the implications are far-reaching. An AI-led boom could help to offset some of the productivity effects of shrinking working-age populations. When it comes to the emerging world, the picture is different: working-age populations are still expanding, but skills and education levels can be more limited, which applies downward pressure on GDP-per-hour-worked.

If AI leads to job augmentation in developing economies, it could create more productive workers and therefore, better-paid jobs. The policies adopted by companies, industries, and regulators will have a large bearing on the delivery of the promised benefits of AI and how those benefits will be distributed.

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By GlobalData