AI’s Economic Potential Could Reach $25.6 Trillion, McKinsey Predicts

Generative AI has the potential to rake in $4.4 trillion annually — but what impact will this have on jobs?

Due to breakthrough developments in generative artificial intelligence (AI), the global AI market could soon rake in between $17.1 and $25.6 trillion annually, according to a new report by consulting company McKinsey.

As apps like ChatGPT and Copilot continue to transform the way business is conducted, generative AI could contribute up to $4.4 trillion to this total, with estimates doubling when you account for AI-assisted workplace tools like Dynamics 365 AI.

Sales and the marketing industries are looking to benefit the most, thanks to the tech's ability to streamline customer operations, while the manufacturing sector will cash in less from the AI gold rush.

McKinsey: Generative AI Will Add Trillions to Global Economy

While the use of AI has been simmering under the surface for decades, recent developments in generative AI have propelled the industry forward — opening up lucrative opportunities to countless businesses in its wake.

A new report from McKinsey has put an estimate on these gains, predicting that generative technologies like ChatGPT, DALL-E, Google Bard, and DeepMind could add anywhere between $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion to the industry annually.

“As generative AI continues to develop and mature, it has the potential to open wholly new frontiers in creativity and innovation.” – McKisney report on generative AI

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AI's impact on the global economy, McKisney report

AI's impact on the global economy. Source: mckisney.com

McKisney's study, which analyzed 63 use cases across 16 business functions, revealed that this could bring AI's total economic potential to between $17.1 and $25.6 trillion after accounting for its impact on worker productivity, and the value of traditional analytics and machine learning algorithms that continue to be deployed across sectors.

Which Industries Will Be the Biggest Winners?

Due to the varied and sprawling applications of generative AI, no industry is expected to be exempt from its impact. However, McKisney's findings predict that marketing and sales, software engineering, and research and development (R&D) could account for a staggering 75% of its total profits.

Sales and marketing processes are likely to see the biggest productivity uptick, largely because of generative AI's potential in transforming the customer experience.

Due to the potential the technology has in facilitating customer self-service, resolving issues during initial contact, and reducing response times, McKinsey predicts that the productivity of customer care functions could increase from 30-45% in the coming years. And these findings aren't isolated.

McKisney's projections chime with a recent study into the impact of AI-based conversational assistants. The research found that after deploying customer service agents, 14% more customer queries were able to be resolved, reducing time spent by employees by 9%. So, if those working in sales and marketing continue to pivot toward generative AI, the savings they make could be major.

Unfortunately, despite the manufacturing sector benefiting massively from AI-aided automation, this new wave of advancement is only expected to contribute around $100 billion annually to the sector. This is significantly short of the projected profits of sales and marketing, which both exceed $450 billion.

Knowledge Workers Are Likely to Bear the Brunt

As AI continues to disrupt every facet of our personal and working lives, there will ultimately be losers too, as the report points out.

As generative AI affords humans with a new “superpower,” McKinsey expects that the developments will also create obstacles for higher-wage workers whose roles were “previously considered to be relatively immune from automation.”

For example, knowledge workers with a Bachelor's degree or higher will likely face similar levels of job insecurity to those without college degrees and high school diplomas. This stands in contrast to previous technological shifts which placed lower-skilled workers at greater risk of losing out.

These findings are a reminder that while generative AI will bring great opportunities to some, it also brings real-world threats to many others. If you're interested in finding out how AI-proof your job is, we spoke to experts and compiled a list of the roles most likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence.

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Written by:
Isobel O'Sullivan (BSc) is a senior writer at Tech.co with over four years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.
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