AI Armageddon - perhaps

Written by Mark Evans

The Economist Intelligence Unit has predicted that Australia will benefit most from AI and the UK will gain least in new study looking into the impact of AI until the year 2030.

The study, commissioned and sponsored by Google, ran three econometric scenarios to 2030 on five countries—the US, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan—and developing Asia as a whole.

However there are a few things to remember: the study only considers five regions – and assumes (in the case of the UK being hardest hit) no policy change – which is unlikely.

On the impact, generally the study shows that although the fears of those pessimistic about the impact of machine learning, and artificial intelligence in general, may be overblown, the optimists’ claims are not entirely supported, either.

The other area of the study, considers the impact of machine learning on four specific industries: transportation, healthcare, energy and manufacturing. It notes these are already benefiting from the use of machine learning, and will continue to do over the forecast period, but many of these benefits will be incremental improvements in safety and efficiency rather than massive step changes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report also see the demand for ‘soft skills,’ such as team building and critical thinking, set to rise, which means technical education and training alone will not help economies to cope with the churn in labour markets machine learning is likely to cause.