Artificial intelligence could add $US957 billion to the Indian economy and a clear majority of large Indian organisations are planning to invest in the technology, according to Accenture research.

The Accenture report, Rewire for Growth, estimates that AI has the potential to increase India’s annual growth rate of gross value added (GVA) by 1.3 percentage points, lifting the country’s income by 15 per cent in 2035.

“AI’s transformative power can be compared to the advent of computing itself, and there’s strong early evidence that AI can play a key role in unlocking socio-economic value in India. The time to act is now, said Rekha M. Menon, senior managing director and chairman, Accenture India.

“With the right investments AI can create a flywheel effect ‘liberating’ people to create long term economic and societal value.”

Source: Accenture

The research finds that major Indian technical universities have been pioneering fundamental research in AI, but are not doing enough to strengthen the AI ecosystem around them, unlike their global counterparts such as Cambridge and Oxford in the UK.

It also finds that although AI startups have witnessed higher than average growth in India since 2011, and in 2016 ranked third among G20 countries measured by the number of AI startups, the size of funding received is substantially smaller than in the United States and China, reflecting the limited success of India’s AI startups in achieving scale so far.

In line with global trends, large businesses will play a key role in unlocking the economic value of AI, with more than 88 per cent of businesses in India surveyed by Accenture earlier this year, expecting to make moderate-to-extensive investments in one or more AI-related technologies over the next three years. In addition, digital platform companies can play a key role in driving AI innovations in India, in line with global trends. Also, that small and large companies alike will need an enabling environment and policy framework to advance AI-led growth.

“The economic boost will be driven by innovative AI technologies that enable people to make more efficient use of their time and do what humans do best: create, imagine and innovate new things. What’s needed is a clear, long-term vision, and a multi-stakeholder action plan that balances growth with the ethical questions posed by AI,” Menon said.

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