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Heads Up Everyone: Generative AI is Poised to Change the World

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A new report released this week by McKinsey & Co. details how their researchers think generative AI will impact the workforce and world’s economy in the coming years.

McKinsey examined thousands of tasks across hundreds of jobs and concluded that generative AI could add more than $4 trillion in value to the global economy. For comparison, the entire gross GDP of the United Kingdom in 2021 was about $3 trillion. The value, they say, will mostly come from increased productivity.

The report, which is available here in exchange for your email, suggests that “[a]bout 75 percent of the value that generative AI use cases could deliver falls across four areas: Customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, and R&D.” Among the key findings, very few will not feel the impact of generative AI. The researchers conclude that generative AI “will have a significant impact across all industry sectors.”

Sensibly, though, the good folks at McKinsey reasonably summarize the issues as follows:

“The era of generative AI is just beginning. Excitement over this technology is palpable, and early pilots are compelling. But a full realization of the technology’s benefits will take time, and leaders in business and society still have considerable challenges to address. These include managing the risks inherent in generative AI, determining what new skills and capabilities the workforce will need, and rethinking core business processes such as retraining and developing new skills.”

In the end, the world is going to continue to develop AI tools whether we like it or not. As with anything else, it makes sense to learn as much as possible about the impact of these and any other technological tools so that as a society we are prepared to effectively manage them.

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Download and read the full McKinsey report here.


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