Use of Artificial Intelligence and Productivity of Japanese Firms and Workers

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (President and CRO, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2024 24-J-011
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With the rapid expansion of the use of artificial intelligence (AI), its effects on economic growth and the labor market are attracting attention from researchers. However, the lack of statistical data on the actual use of AI has been a major obstacle to empirical research. Based on an original survey of firms and workers, this study provides an overview of the use of AI and other automation technologies in Japan, the characteristics of firms and workers who use these technologies, and their views on the effects of AI on productivity and employment. According to the results, first, the number of AI-using firms is increasing rapidly, and firms with a larger share of highly educated workers have a greater tendency to use AI. Robot-using firms are also increasing, but the relationship of their use to workers’ education is weak, suggesting that the impact on the labor market is different for each technology. Second, AI-using firms have higher productivity, higher average wages, and higher expected medium-term growth rates. Third, AI-using firms expect that while it will increase their own productivity and wages, it may decrease their employment. Fourth, even at the worker level, more educated workers are more likely to use AI, suggesting that AI and education are complementary at this stage. Fifth, workers who use AI evaluate their work productivity to have increased by about 20% on average, suggesting that AI could potentially have a fairly large productivity enhancing effect.