AI to help accelerate China’s growth rate by 2035, study suggests

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Artificial Intelligence could significantly increase China’s annual growth rate by 2035, a report by Accenture recently revealed.

The Accenture research with Frontier Economics—called How Artificial Intelligence Can Drive China’s Growth—says that adding AI as a factor of production to the economic growth model will impact the country’s growth.

China’s annual growth rate could grow from 6.3 percent to 7.9 percent in less than two decades.

According to Chuan Neo Chong, Accenture Greater China Chairwoman, China’s AI development continues to improve slowing growth. “However, as with any catalyst, it is important to remember the challenges and the risk of unintended consequences. Stakeholders must prepare themselves intellectually, technologically, politically, ethically and socially for the promise of AI,” she added.

Chinas AI goal

China continued to heavily invest in AI, and according to a report by Forbes, could actually soon catch up to the United States. Aggressive and elaborate plans continue to be made in order to dominate the field.

Some of China’s efforts to push AI include improvements in driverless cars, robotics, and marketing. Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said in June that the country’s AI development plan has already been drafted.

A report by the South China Morning Post cites Wan as saying that the following will be addressed in the plan: building up of AI capability, application of AI technologies, an introduction of policies to handle the risks brought about by AI (ie. job losses), and international collaboration. 

The country’s internet giants Baidu, Alibaba Group, and Tencent, are leading the AI movement, having projects like AI research, driverless auto software, and using AI in improving logistics.

“A large number of the published AI papers in the world are written by Chinese. It looks like we are born to do this,” said Robin Li Yanhong, chief executive of Baidu.

Big opportunities for manufacturing

The Accenture study reveals that some of the industries that will benefit from the AI application are Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Wholesale and Retail, and Manufacturing.

“The largest area of opportunity for AI in China’s growth is absolutely manufacturing…the instrumentation of manufacturing has really only just begun. The Internet of Things, taking data and telemetry off machines and manufacturing lines for greater productivity is really just beginning,” Adam Burden, global lead for advanced technology & architecture in Accenture was quoted as saying.

With AI, the manufacturing sector could contribute an additional US$2.7 trillion in China’s GVA by 2035—a 31 percent increase.

“Too many people try to associate AI with human intelligence. But the problem is…there are things that humans can do that machines cannot, and there are things that machines can do that humans absolutely cannot,” Burden added.

“AI can take the mundane and the ordinary out of our lives and improve the human condition in the long run.”

Recommendations for the future

One of Accenture’s suggestions to policymakers and leaders is to prepare the next generation for AI in such a way that they can harmoniously coexist “in a two-way learning relationship.” Another recommendation is to have an AI code of ethics wherein AI will have built-in accountability.

Frank Chen, Head of Accenture Greater China Technology Practice, said that AI could be a game changer.

 

“To harness its potential, industry leaders will need to synthesize AI into their strategies and create a new playbook for AI. This means adapting traditional company structures to AI, and more innovative thinking when it comes to both operations and business models. Industries will need to shift from doing things differently, to doing different things.”

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