AI can boost profitability by 38%, report says

Businesses that make the most of artificial intelligence (AI) could see a significant increase in profitability, according to a new report from Accenture.

How AI Boosts Industry Profits and Innovation says that AI can reverse falling profit growth in three ways:

1. Intelligent automation, for example improvements to supply chain management or streamlining the sales process.

2. Workers can delegate low value-added tasks to AI and be more productive in their main tasks. AI can also help businesses maximise their asset utilisation rates.

3. Accelerating the development of new products, helping to increase innovation, eliminate redundant costs and generate new revenue streams to increase profitability.

In labour-intensive sectors, such as wholesale and retail, AI augments the human workforce, enabling people to become more productive and leading to a profit increase of almost 60%.

In capital-intensive industries such as manufacturing, AI-powered machines will eliminate faulty machines and idle equipment, delivering constantly rising rates of return, resulting in profit increases of 39% by 2035, Accenture predicts.

By 2035, the introduction of AI is forecast to lead to an economic boost of $14tn (£10.8tn) in additional gross value added (GVA) across 16 industries in 12 economies. Furthermore, individual firms that successfully apply AI could increase their profitability by an average of 38%.

“Artificial intelligence will revolutionise how businesses compete and grow, representing an entirely new factor of production that can ignite corporate profitability,” commented Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s Chief Technology & Innovation Officer. “To realise this significant opportunity, it’s critical that businesses act now to develop strategies around AI that put people at the centre, and commit to develop responsible AI systems that are aligned to moral and ethical values that will drive positive outcomes and empower people to do what they do best – imagine, create and innovate.”

“By exploring the macroeconomic impact of AI as it matures over the next few decades, it’s clear that organisations in every industry have tremendous opportunities to apply AI to unleash remarkable benefits,” added Mark Purdy, Managing Director of Accenture Research. “By optimising processes with intelligent automation, augmenting human labour and physical capital, and propelling new innovations, AI can drive dramatic and long lasting profitability and economic growth.”

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