Global leaders are keen to use technology including AI to advance key impact goals, according to a new study from HP Inc with Oxford Economics.

The study of business executives and government officials in 10 countries found three out of four leaders believe technology is key to expanding economic opportunity (76%) and that AI will help drive progress towards sustainability and social impact goals (76%).

In addition, business leaders are either already using AI or plan to in the next 1-2 years for goals such as increasing access to digital education (90%), workforce development (89%), and workforce diversity (86%).

“AI’s reach holds great promise to help HP accelerate our sustainable and social impact goals,” says Ernest Nicolas, HP’s chief supply chain officer. “From how we responsibly build AI PCs for first-time users to data scientists who use our workstations to help local farmers build more resilient businesses, this is the technology that can move businesses and our communities forward.”

About one-third of the global population remains offline, costing the world billions of dollars in lost GDP each year. The digital divide has been growing since the advent of technology, and AI could exacerbate these disparities if intentional action isn’t taken.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to access the tools needed to thrive in the digital economy,” says Michele Malejki, HP global head of social impact and director of the HP Foundation. “We know technology can be a great equalizer and a powerful tool to drive progress.

“Yet, to truly narrow the digital divide in our rapidly evolving world, we must also equip individuals with the skills to use technology.”

In its latest Sustainable Impact report released this week, HP announced it has accelerated digital equity for more than 45-million people since 2021, bringing the organisation nearly a third of the way to its goal of reaching 150-million people by 2030.