How to Boost U.S. Productivity in the AI Era
Recent advances in artificial intelligence are raising hopes of a U.S. productivity boom by automating mundane tasks, improving decision-making, and opening up new business models and opportunities. At the same time, many workers are skeptical, fearing that the new tools may make them obsolete. What impact will AI have on businesses and employees in the long and short term? And how can we be more productive while also ensuring that the benefits will be distributed equally?
A new report by the McKinsey Global Institute, "Rekindling Productivity for a New Era," sheds light on these questions. The study examines which sectors and geographic regions, such as California, have been the most innovative and productive, and what it took to achieve that success. "To unlock value from truly new technology, firms must reconfigure how they work, often over sustained periods, as they tinker with processes and workers adapt their skills," the report finds.
The study also argues that maintaining the status quo is not an option. U.S. productivity has been lagging since 2005, averaging 1.4 percent a year, compared to the post-World War II average of 2.2 percent. Bringing productivity up to its historical average could add an additional $10 trillion to the U.S. GDP over the next 10 years, amounting to an extra $15,200 per U.S. household.
We'll talk with McKinsey's Olivia White about how to fix the U.S. productivity engine in a way that benefits everyone.
McKinsey Global Institute Director and Senior Partner, Bay Area
Former Chief Economic and Business Advisor for the State of California; Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company; Member, The Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Moderator