Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) will boost global GDP by 14% by 2030. The firm has called it “the biggest commercial opportunity” in the economy today.

PwC’s study ‘Sizing the Prize’ suggests that AI offers the potential to be a game-changer, enabling an increase in global GDP over the next 15 years equivalent to an additional $15,000bn, exceeding the current output of China and India combined. Most particularly, the report finds $6600bn likely to emerge from increased labour productivity and $9000bn from increased consumer demand. The strongest economic benefits from AI will be felt in China and North America, where a combined surge in GDP will account for almost 70% of the economic impact of AI worldwide, the report says.

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“The analysis highlights how the value of AI enhancing and augmenting what enterprises can do is large, if not larger than automation,” said Anand Rao, global leader of artificial intelligence at PwC. “It demonstrates how big a game-changer AI is likely to be – transforming our lives as individuals, enterprises and as a society.”

In addition, the PwC AI Impact Index isolates three business areas, which it expects to offer the greatest AI potential: image-based diagnostics, on-demand production and autonomous traffic control. From the eight sectors analysed, the most significant gains will be in retail, financial services and healthcare, as AI is known to directly increase productivity, product value and consumption.

PwC’s report underlines the scale of opportunity AI will afford to businesses and consumers. A recent paper from PwC UK on Responsible AI also reiterated the need for good governance and effective controls in the design and implementation stages to enable AI's positive potential.

“The big challenge is how to secure the right talent, technology and access to data to make the most of this opportunity,” said Gerard Verweij, global data and analytics leader at PwC.