The economic opportunity of generative AI in CEE

Capturing the next wave of benefits from generative AI

29 May 2024

Generative AI will boost global economic growth in the coming decade. It can increase productivity and boost the competitiveness of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. It can be a technological leap, but it requires more digital skills and investment in innovation.

An Implement Consulting Group study commissioned by Google has estimated generative AI’s GDP contribution and implications on jobs in CEE. Capturing the full potential of generative AI, however, depends on a number of drivers of AI adoption – from a robust operating environment to the availability of skilled AI practitioners.

Key findings of the study

  • Economic Opportunity: Generative AI could boost CEE’s annual GDP by EUR 90-100 billion, amounting to +5% GDP in around ten years if widespread adoption is achieved.

    The gains come from three sources, including productivity increases from people working with generative AI, freed-up time from generative AI’s automation potential and the re-employment of time to other value-creating activities.
  • Job implications: In CEE, 59% of jobs are expected to work together with generative AI, 36% of jobs are likely to remain unaffected by generative AI, and only 5% of jobs are deemed highly exposed to generative AI, leading to some job closures. However, new jobs in the AI-powered economy are expected to replace those lost to automation, resulting in unchanged employment levels.
  • Key sectors benefitting: Generative AI is especially potent in public administration and knowledge-intensive services – but also affects the large manufacturing sector in the CEE-region.
  • AI readiness: CEE performs relatively well on the early foundational drivers of AI adoption that ensure a safe and reliable AI-ready environment: operating environment (e.g. trust, data governance), government strategy and infrastructure. However, the region falls behind EU average and global leaders across all adoption drivers.

CEE needs to upskill and reskill the workforce and improve digital infrastructure to capture the benefits of AI.