Artificial Intelligence to generate up to $6 trillion of annual value to global economy  

Artificial Intelligence to generate up to $6 trillion of annual value to global economy

 McKinsey & Company brings insight expertise to GITEX on AI, Smart Cities, and Inclusion

17th October 2018: McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Director and McKinsey & Company Senior Partner, Jonathan Woetzel moderated the opening panel discussion at GITEX on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Woetzel spoke about the impending next wave of digital disruption, and the need for organizations to prepare for it now. He said: “We already see real-life benefits for most early adopting firms. We think that this generation of AI can generate up to $6 trillion of annual value across the global economy. Whether in retail, industry, transport, or pharmaceutical manufacturing, functions like customer service management, sales & marketing, and risk, will be transformed by these technologies.”

Also contributing to GITEX was Abdulkader Lamaa, Associate Partner at McKinsey Middle East, who delivered a keynote address on the recently released MGI Smart Cities report. Lamaa highlighted several practical examples of how smart city technology will improve society and increase overall quality of life. Smart applications have the potential to save 30-300 lives every year in a city with a population of 5 million and first responders could arrive to emergency scenes 2–17 minutes faster, depending on their starting point. He also added that daily commute times could be cut by 30 minutes.


“The MGI report shows that smart solutions are changing the economics of infrastructure and helping local governments rethink service delivery for everything from transit to waste collection. However, real value will only be realized if people adopt the smart services. The next wave of smart city efforts need to be people-centric rather than tech-centric. Smart cities leaders will have to pay extra attention to include disadvantaged groups and neighbourhoods to ensure equitable and inclusive development. Technology can be used to build communities and give residents a greater voice in shaping the places they call home,” said Lamaa.

#SheInnovates: A call to action for women in tech

Desiree El Chebeir, Associate Partner at McKinsey Middle East took part in a panel discussion called ‘Class of 2040: #SheInnovates’ and shared insights on the value diversity brings to companies and the economy, the current representation of women in STEM, and ways to increase female participation.

“Research shows diverse teams are more creative and innovative, and ultimately add significant value to the bottom line. Those companies which have a female founder have been measured to perform up to 63 per cent better than all-male rivals. This is partly due to all-male teams struggling to see value in, or design, women-oriented products. AI alone could unlock $10-15 trillion p.a. globally. Yet, only 14% of AI professionals in the US and in the UK are female, which can lead to considerable design bias of the technology itself and ultimately flawed output.

She added that with demand for IT and programming skills set to grow by as much as 90% over the next 15 years, women risk being further under-represented in this field in a severe way. The problem starts early in schools. In the US for example, just 32% of girls are interested in computers, compared to 74% of boys. By college graduation, only 18% of all computer scientists are women. Of tech executives, 11% are women, with only 1/3 of them in senior and line management roles.

To unlock these opportunities, companies need to promote female role-models, to better target and retain women, and to sponsor women in tech/leadership ,” said El Chebeir.

McKinsey and industry leaders gather for Smart Cities Round Table

On the side-lines of the exhibition, McKinsey held a roundtable discussion on Smart Cities in collaboration with GITEX. Participants heard from high profile speakers including Jordi Puignero, Minister of Digital Policy and Public Administration, Government of Catalonia. Titled, Smart Cities: Digital solutions for a more liveable future, the roundtable discussed how smart cities can improve quality of life for residents, with Jonathan Woetzel presenting key findings from the MGI Smart Cities report. One of the key themes of the report was necessary collaboration between public and private sectors to effectively deliver these technologies, especially when it comes to public services.

“Cities can use a range of smart applications to cut emissions by 10–15 percent, reduce unrecycled solid waste by 30–130 kg per person annually, and reduce the negative health effects from air pollution by 8–15 percent,” Woetzel told the assembled audience. Stressing that each city had unique needs and drivers, he concluded by saying that even the most technologically advanced and connected cities, could do better.

Presenting his insights on how Catalonia became the first city in Europe to implement a smart region strategy, Jordi Puignero said that the five success factors for challenging the digital revolution were leadership, a friendly environment, fostering local talent, branding and quick wins that demonstrate accountability. “Of course, leadership is the most important, he said, because without the political will to innovate and introduce digital solutions, it is impossible to promote a digital nation with digitally engaged citizens.”

GITEX Technology Week is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 14-18 October 2018, with McKinsey spokespeople adding expertise in the realm of AI, Smart Cities and best practice in ensuring inclusivity for girls and young women in education.

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