“The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) can be a frightening one. Anyone who has seen 2001: A Space Odyssey knows what might happen if a computer gets a mind of its own.

But the birth of AI isn’t just a worrisome topic for science fiction. This year global risk experts once again flagged it as one of the major technological risks facing the world economy – in particular, the potential for AI to be used to engineer sophisticated cyber attacks or to promulgate ‘fake news’. Meanwhile, a study from the Brookings Institute last year found 32 per cent of people view AI as a threat to humanity, compared to 24 per cent who don’t.

But despite our fears, might AI prove to be a force for good in the world? A new study released today by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Google suggests AI’s super-human analytical power could be harnessed to wipe out inefficiencies in global supply chains, in everything from food to consumer electronics, delivering massive cost and environmental savings in the process…”