The McKinsey Global Institute said on September 5 that the United States and China are currently most prepared in the world for introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) while South Korea is about average. Yet the institute forecast that South Korea is likely to show the highest rate of introduction in the world in 2023 and later.
McKinsey recently analyzed 41 countries’ preparedness by using eight yardsticks, including investment in AI, related research activities, productivity enhancement based on automation, human resources, and labor-market structures. The countries were classified into four groups. The top group includes the United States and China, followed by 17 runner-ups, including South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Britain and Finland.
China is higher than the global average in the areas of investment, research activities and connectivity. The U.S. has exceeded the global average in every category with the only exception of labor-market structures. “Two years ago, the U.S. and China accounted for 66% and 17% of the global total corporate investment in this field, respectively, and the latter is on the rise these days,” the institute explained.
South Korea is higher than the global average in productivity enhancement based on automation and innovation indices. It is about average in the other six categories. McKinsey warned that the US and China would widen the AI gap with South Korea through a huge investment in AI.
The third group includes India, Italy and Malaysia and the fourth includes Brazil, Cambodia and Greece.
According to the institute, South Korea’s rate of AI introduction is expected to reach 25% in 2023, outperforming Sweden (24%), the U.S. (23%) and China (19%). Its rate of introduction is estimated to further rise to 54% in 2030.
“There may be an AI divide between developing and developed countries,” the institute went on to say, “The preparedness of those better prepared is estimated to be 11 percentage points higher than that of the others in 2023 and the gap is likely to reach 23 percentage points in 2030.” AI is expected to make a contribution of US$13 trillion to the total GDP of the world until 2030 so that it grows at an annual average of 1.2% during the period.
AI is likely to widen the gaps among enterprises and workers as well. The institute forecast that leading enterprises in AI would be able to double their cash flows whereas the others’ might suffer a 20% drop. “The ratio of low-skill jobs is estimated to fall from 40% to 30% between now and 2030 while the ratio of high-skill digital jobs goes up from 40% to 50%” it said.