Generative A.I. Can Add $4.4 Trillion in Value to Global Economy, Study Says

McKinsey’s report is one of the few so far to quantify the long-term impact of generative A.I. on the economy. The report arrives as Silicon Valley has been gripped by a fervor over generative A.I. tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, with tech companies and venture capitalists investing billions of dollars in the technology.

The tools — some of which can also generate images and video, and carry on a conversation — have started a debate over how they will affect jobs and the world economy. Some experts have predicted that the A.I. will displace people from their work, while others have said the tools can augment individual productivity.

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

Any conclusions about the technology’s effects may be premature. David Autor, a professor of economics at M.I.T. cautioned that generative A.I. was “not going to be as miraculous as people claim.”

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

For the most part, economic studies of generative A.I. do not take into account other risks from the technology, such as whether it might spread misinformation and eventually escape the realm of human control.

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