Why AI Will Be Your Next Go-To Productivity Tool (If It Isn't Already)

It sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie, but the truth is it's your inevitable reality. The rise of artificial intelligence, or AI, is poised to change the way we think of productivity.

That's according to a new report from Accenture, which predicts that AI could boost productivity by up to 40 percent by 2035. Companies are already investing heavily in AI, and not just in the U.S.

Put simply, AI is defined as the ability of a machine to mimic intelligent human behavior. It's essentially any sort of technology that is able to make sense of its environment and surroundings, and then act and react accordingly.

One of the benefits AI will bring is taking care of mundane responsibilities so human employees can concentrate on others.

"The impact this has is that it automates a lot of the low-level tasks and gets them done with higher satisfaction," Accenture chief technology officer Paul Daugherty told CNBC.

"It frees up employees to do things they get more satisfaction out of, which is solving more complex problems and dealing with the more complex issues that arise in business."

Who Will AI Impact?

AI will make its presence felt in a wide variety of industries. One example is hospitality, where AI could be coupled with machines or robotics to replenish towels, hygiene products and other items for hotel guests.

In business and administrative offices, smart services like virtual receptionists are already gaining popularity.

In agriculture, AI could help farmers maximize crop yields by utilizing a precise monitoring system.

In mining, AI-equipped robots could handle tasks that might be particularly dangerous or hazardous to human miners.

AI is also poised to hit the eCommerce market. Amazon uses the technology to help with its goal of making same-day delivery a more common reality.

The education field is also already feeling the impact of AI. According to the Accenture study, math students that used virtual tutors saw pass rates increase by 11 percent. At the same time, dropout rates tumbled by 56 percent. Even further, since these tutors allow students to advance at their own pace, more than half of students completed classes a month earlier than before.

Will AI Benefit the Economy?

It's clear that AI will help boost productivity, and that increased productivity will lead to a stronger economy.

It won't happen overnight. Remember, Accenture's report predicts productivity will increase by 40 percent, but not until 2035. Still, over that 19 years, the company predicts the U.S. could increase its annual economic growth rate from 2.6 percent to 4.6 percent, thanks to the added productivity provided by AI.

Businesses are already on board, and savvy ones see an immediate investment opportunity. In fact, Accenture says investments in AI startups have increased by about 20 percent over the past four years. The company contends that early adopters of AI and associated technology give themselves a competitive advantage.

What Comes Next For AI?

One of the best parts of the Accenture report is it lays out tips for how to navigate AI in the short term. On one hand, the company published a 100-day plan that helps readers understand and grasp AI over the next three months.

It also has a 365-day plan that can help you prepare for what business will be like a year from now. It touches on things such as how to implement new technologies and how to evaluate the latest AI offerings.

As mentioned, change won't come overnight. However, the AI ball is already rolling and building momentum, and soon it will be one of the world's greatest productivity drivers.