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Responsible Gen AI adoption could add an extra of 4.5 trillion in economic value in APAC

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Responsible Gen AI adoption could add an extra of 4.5 trillion in economic value in APAC over the next 15 years, according to new research findings from Accenture

New research from Accenture finds generative AI could create an extra of 4.5 trillion (USD) in economic value in APAC, equivalent to a 0.7 percentage points increase in annual GDP growth, over the next 15 years by adopting the technology responsibly, at scale, and focusing on people. This is twice as much the economic value that would be created with gen AI aggressively adopted, without the right investments in people and work processes.

The research combines economic modelling conducted for four of Asia Pacific’s largest economies, including Australia, China, India and Japan, and a CXO survey in these countries and Singapore.

Key survey findings include:

  • 33% of working hours across APAC will either to be automated or augmented by generative AI, leading to a productivity boost. Working hours in Australia and Japan will be most impacted at 45% and 44% respectively, followed by China (33%) and India (31%).
  • 96% of APAC business leaders acknowledge the significant impact of gen AI, and 91% of APAC workers indicate that they are keen to acquire new skills to work with gen AI, but only 4% of business leaders have rolled out gen AI training at scale.  Similarly, 89% of APAC businesses are planning to increase their spending on gen AI technology this year, but only 35% are prioritizing investments in their workforce’s development.
  • The most impacted industries include Capital markets where gen AI will transform nearly three-quarters of working hours (71%) and Software and Platforms where two-thirds (66%) of working hours will be automated or augmented. This is followed by Banking (64%), Insurance (62%) and Retail (49%).

“Generative AI has rapidly accelerated the data and AI-led transformation journey for businesses. However, to fully leverage its potential, leaders must recognize it as more than just a tool for redesigning processes and driving cost efficiencies. It should be viewed as a value creation opportunity for businesses, people, and society,” said Patama Chantaruck, Country Managing Director, Accenture Thailand. “As a vital economic hub within the Asia-Pacific region, home to a diverse and dynamic workforce, Thailand has a unique opportunity to champion people-centric, responsible AI adoption to drive productivity and sustainable growth. By investing in our workforce and integrating generative AI responsibly, we can set a global example for innovation and economic development.”

“The scaled implementation of generative AI could reinvent almost all functions across industries.  The key to unlocking its real value lies in skilling. For businesses to maximize gen AI benefits and drive growth, leaders must extend their focus beyond the immediate tasks and roles and embrace a long term, people-centric approach to adopting gen AI. They need to pair gen AI investments with workforce training and development. Enterprises need to invest in transforming work, workflows and their workforce so they can reinvent themselves for success in the age of AI,” said Vivek Luthra, Data and AI Lead, Accenture Growth Markets.

To fully leverage the potential of gen AI, Accenture recommends that businesses take the following steps:

  • Lead and learn in new ways: To be effective and build trust in the gen AI-enabled future, leaders need to engage, lead differently and challenge old mindsets to learn new things. It is important that leaders immerse themselves in the technology, effectively changing how they learn by embedding learning into the flow of work.
  • Reinvent work: By rethinking entire workflows, leaders can gain a clear view of where gen AI can be most impactful, aligning it with business goals for better efficiency and innovation across the enterprise and collapsing silos in a lasting, meaningful way. From there, it’s possible to re-focus on how the work needs to change to better serve customers, support people and achieve business outcomes.
  • Reshape the workforce: The shift in how work is done demands a dynamic and adaptable workforce. Organizations need to prioritize continuous talent reinvention. As use of this technology grows, organizations should further leverage tools and technologies, such as skills mapping, that can help facilitate smoother transitions from declining to emerging roles. And as work and roles shift, increased capacity can free up time and talent for higher value activities.
  • Prepare workers: As organizations invest in helping workers acquire market-relevant technical skills and the capability to collaborate with machines, they will also need to focus on soft skills.  A teach-to-learn model is emerging to equip workers to teach the machines. Along this journey, leaders also need to listen and involve their people at every step of the way to strengthen trust.

Further information on the economic modelling

To estimate the working hours likely to be impacted by gen AI and the associated impact on GDP, Accenture looked at data from four of the five largest economies in APAC – Australia, China, Japan and India:

  1. Breakdown jobs into tasks which we then tagged according to potential for automation and augmentation (using machine learning with human verification)
  2. Used economic literature to estimate the total hours saved based on current state of gen AI
  3. Explored likely job transitions (based on historical trends and similarities in skill composition)
  4. Built out different scenarios of how organizations could adopt gen AI across three parameters: innovation focus, pace of adoption, and degree of talent displacement.
  5. Modelled GDP growth (2023-2038) for each geography under each scenario (which we compared against baseline GDP growth projections)

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