Many global investors see artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as a strong commercial opportunity. AI and ML have been adopted by influential industries like healthcare, finance, and automotive engineering. Though adoption by the manufacturing industry has been slow, innovators are recently discovering ways to leverage manufacturing data and build AI tools that serve to create efficient and productive ways of mining resources.
What does the growth of AI mean for the global economy? Here are two main paradigm shifts that are underway.
Global economic structure has operated as a single-pole economy for generations, with a primary technology like coal, steel or the combustion engine being regulated by global markets or trade organizations. AI is fundamentally different in that it is an intangible technology that lives in the cloud, is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and can be spread through digital channels at rapid speeds. This has led to what U.N. economists have termed a multi-polarity. Multi-polarity is the new global economic standard, a standard that is decentralized, digital and at times virtual. With seemingly limitless regulations or borders, AI and ML can generate new currencies and impact industries in a variety of ways.
Despite a lack of regulation, older practices still exist. Global companies patent their AI technology through the World Intellectual Property Organization with over 55,000 patents being issued in 2017. American companies such as IBM and Microsoft top the list of global patents with Chinese and South Korean companies rounding out the top three.
In terms of the global economy, this indicates that the trillions of dollars expected to be generated through AI and its resulting efficiency will be concentrated in the hands of only a few global corporations that are based in a handful of countries. As pointed out by U.N. analysts, the result could be a higher concentration of wealth rather than a “flattening” of the economy.
Flat Economy or Concentrated Wealth?
Innovators like Denis Laviolette have developed ways to analyze big data and create AI-powered tools that assist mining companies in discovering new resources. Individual companies such as Laviolette’s still have the power to generate even economic growth, but only if individuals across the globe have access to AI education and the ability to innovate and take on risk.
AI’s impact on the global economy will be one of increased economic growth, but the question of who will benefit most still remains to be seen.