UK risks falling behind the US and China for implementing AI

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UK risks falling behind the US and China for implementing AI

The UK risks falling behind other countries such as the US and China unless they act now and accelerate their implementation of Artificial intelligence (AI).

This is according to a report from Microsoft in partnership with Goldsmiths University which states that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of UK organisations are unclear if they have an AI strategy in place. As well as 74 per cent believe that the country does not have the socio-economic structures to lead in AI on a global scale.

It also states that companies that use AI are 11.5 per cent likely to outperform its competitors, which do not use AI.

Despite more than half of UK organisations (56 per cent) using the technology, 96 per cent of employees say they have never been consulted by their boss about its introduction. Meanwhile, 83 per cent of leaders, claim to have not been asked by staff about AI.

Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK said:

The results are clear. UK businesses and public sector organisations that forgo or delay implementing AI solutions risk missing the boat on driving down costs, increasing their competitive advantage and empowering their workers. Given this moment, where both UK leadership and competitiveness on the global stage is more vital than ever, there is no doubt that fully embracing AI-led digital transformation is a critical success factor for UK businesses, government and society.

Just under a quarter (24 per cent) of companies have an AI strategy in place.

There seems to be a doubt within the UK whether or not companies can capitalise on the opportunity that AI presents, as business leaders have a lack of understanding of how to scale AI effectively and ethically.

Only 21 per cent of UK leaders have completed AI training and 57 per cent admit they do not know what to do if something goes wrong within the AI. Over a third (34 per cent) actually know how to evaluate the business benefits of their AI investments.

Lord Timothy Clement-Jones, chairman of the House of Lords select committee said:

There is absolutely no excuse for anybody in business, at whatever age, for not reinventing themselves in terms of really understanding how AI works.

Job security fears are being fuelled by the fact that only 11 per cent of employees has completed their training on how to use AI in their job. The report also found that cultural change has a direct correlation between an oragnisation’s AI maturity and its ability to foster a collaborative communicative and supportive environment required for staff to use the technology.

Clare Barclay, chief operating officer, Microsoft UK said:

Transformative change driven by AI is as much about culture as it is technology – yet it seems that culture isn’t getting the airtime it deserves.  An environment where employees feel they have the opportunity to get involved and develop new skills, will unleash innovation and your employees’ potential to become the best competitive asset you have.

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