Global IT services and consulting major Accenture on Thursday said artificial intelligence (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% in 2035. A study titled ‘Rewire for Growth’ also estimates that AI could add $957 billion to the Indian economy by changing the nature of work to create better outcome for businesses and the society. “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. With the right investments AI can create a flywheel effect ‘liberating’ people to create long-term economic and societal value,” said Rekha Menon, senior managing director and chairman of Accenture India. The research was done by Accenture Research in collaboration with Frontier Economics. The report also explores the strength of the country’s AI innovation ecosystem relative to other G20 economies across five key pillars — universities, start-ups, large businesses, policy makers and multi-stakeholder partnerships. To estimate the economic potential of AI, the research was done by comparing two scenarios. First was the expected annual economic growth rate under current assumptions about the future. The second is the AI scenario, which shows expected economic growth once the impact of AI has been absorbed into the economy.“It studies the current state of activity, areas of opportunities and challenges, and finds that even with a tech-savvy talent pool, renowned universities, healthy levels of entrepreneurship and strong corporations, India lags on key indicators of AI development,” a press release said. According to Accenture, unlike leading European universities such as Cambridge and Oxford in the UK, major Indian technical universities are not doing enough to strengthen the AI ecosystem. However, the IT major said Indian universities are pioneering fundamental research in the AI segment. It also finds that AI start-ups have witnessed higher-than-average growth in India since 2011. In 2016, India ranked third among G20 countries measured by the number of AI start-ups. The size of funding received is substantially smaller than in the US and China, reflecting the limited success of India’s AI start-ups in achieving scale so far.The study also suggests that to realise the full potential of AI, India needs concentrated effort at the national level with collaboration between policy makers, civil society and the private sector to develop a long-term vision and action plan that unites the ecosystem and address technical and ethical questions as they arise. Apart from this, India needs to bolster research and development, enable greater access to data, invest in building skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics and embrace.