“Generative artificial intelligence” is set to add up to $4.4 trillion of value to the global economy annually, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, in what is one of the most optimistic predictions about the economic effects of rapidly evolving technology. .

Generative AI, including chatbots like ChatGPT that can generate text in response to prompts, can potentially increase productivity by saving 60 to 70 percent of worker time by automating their work, according to the report. of 68 pages, which was published early. Wednesday. Half of all work will be automated between 2030 and 2060, according to the report.

McKinsey had previously predicted that AI would automate half of all work between 2035 and 2075, but the power of generative AI tools, which burst onto the tech scene late last year, accelerated the company’s forecast.

“Generative AI has the potential to change the anatomy of work, augmenting the capabilities of individual workers by automating some of their individual activities,” the report says.

The McKinsey report is one of the few so far to quantify the long-term impact of generative AI on the economy. The report comes as Silicon Valley has been gripped by a fervor for generative artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, with tech companies and venture capitalists pouring billions of dollars into the technology.

The tools, some of which can also generate images and videos, and hold a conversation, have sparked a debate about how they will affect jobs and the global economy. Some experts have predicted that AI will displace people from their jobs, while others have said that the tools can increase individual productivity.

Last week, Goldman Sachs released a report warning that AI could cause worker disruption and that some companies would benefit more from the technology than others. In April, a Stanford researcher and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a study showing that generative AI could increase the productivity of inexperienced call center operators by 35 percent.

Any conclusions about the effects of technology may be premature. David Autor, a professor of economics at MIT, warned that generative AI was “not going to be as miraculous as people claim.”

“We are really, really at the early stage,” he added.

For the most part, economic studies of generative AI do not take into account other risks of the technology, such as that it could spread misinformation and eventually escape the realm of human control.

The vast majority of the economic value of generative AI will likely come from helping workers automate tasks in customer operations, sales, software engineering, and research and development, according to the McKinsey report. Generative AI can create “superpowers” for highly-skilled workers, said Lareina Yee, a McKinsey partner and author of the report, because the technology can summarize and edit content.

“The most profound change that we are going to see is the change in people, and that will require much more innovation and leadership than technology,” he said.

The report also outlined the challenges that industry leaders and regulators should address with AI, including concerns that content generated by the tools may be misleading and inaccurate.

Ms Yee acknowledged that the report was making predictions about the effects of AI, but that “if you could capture even a third” of the technology’s potential, “it’s pretty remarkable over the next five to 10 years.”

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