Belfast Telegraph

Artificial intelligence 'could boost NI economy by £2.6bn'

By John Mulgrew

Artificial intelligence could boost Northern Ireland's economic output by £2.6bn by 2030, a new report has claimed. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the increasing prevalence of technology could see a surge in GDP.

PwC said that's the "equivalent of an annual £1,900 extra spending power per Northern Ireland household".

It said improvements would come from "gains in productivity, new business investment and product improvement".

However, it is predicted to have less of an impact than across the UK as a whole.

Overall UK GDP could be 10.3% higher in 2030 as a result of AI, which is the equivalent of an additional £232bn.

Northern Ireland's GDP could increase by around 5.4%. The report said that is less than the other UK regions "largely due to the region's smaller global export activity".

PwC's research has predicted that the benefits from "labour productivity growth will be felt first".

The main four areas examined in the report include the automation of manual tasks, helping to perform tasks better and faster, helping people and businesses make better decisions, as well as automating decision-making without human intervention.

Jonathan Gillham, economist at PwC, said: "Much of the focus on AI to date has been on the impact that increased automation of tasks will have on jobs.

"While we expect that the nature of jobs will change and that some will be susceptible to automation, our research shows that the huge boost to UK GDP that AI-driven products and services will bring will go a significant way to rebalance the impact."

And Euan Cameron, UK artificial intelligence leader at PwC, said: "The potential size of the AI prize is huge and our research shows it has the potential to transform the productivity and GDP potential of the UK's economy."

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