AI in the UKDespite a global uptick in Artificial Intelligence (AI) investments, UK businesses are moving cautiously — perhaps a bit too much so. A 2017 poll conducted by the Google and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) revealed that only 14% of British firms are investing in AI compared to a global average of 23%. Of the 1,111 UK executives polled, 29% of respondents said AI is too expensive and unproven, and 20% said it will take several years to “seriously adopt” the new technology.

UK AI experts don’t believe the government is doing enough to fund and inspire automation. Despite a recent investment of £75 million in AI by the UK government, industry leaders argue that there’s more to be done. A clear opportunity exists for businesses and their workers. AI is projected to create 7.2 million UK jobs in healthcare, science and education by 2037, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). By 2030, the AI industry will contribute to a 10.3% increase in UK GDP. London specifically will benefit from an addition of 138,000 AI-based jobs.

In April of this year, a group of international tech firms and venture capitalists invested £1 billion in programs designed to address the UK’s perceived AI skills shortage. It’s still too soon to determine whether this investment, or the £75 million government investment, has catalyzed increased institutional AI deployments.

The Benefits of AI Deployments

Although UK businesses have been cautious, industry analysts have been unanimous in their AI projections: Companies will need to invest in AI eventually, and those that do will gain an edge on the competition. For example, Accenture determined that AI could help boost labor productivity by up to 40% globally. The same study revealed that clinical health AI applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the US healthcare economy alone by 2026.

Choosing the right AI partners and understanding how and why AI can benefit your business will mean the difference between quick return-on-investment (ROI) or having to restart deployments.

A PointSource study found that when AI is deployed tactically, 34% of shoppers said they will spend more money online and 49% said they are willing to shop more frequently online when AI is present. According to Deloitte, 83% of the most aggressive adopters of AI have already achieved either moderate (53%) or substantial (30%) benefits.

The Future of AI in the UK

Organizations that fail to invest in AI in the near future will find themselves at a disadvantage, especially as early adopters master AI use cases and begin to roll out AI to other lines of business. Choosing the right AI partners and understanding how and why AI can benefit your business will mean the difference between quick return-on-investment (ROI) or having to restart deployments.

IPsoft’s solutions are already at work within many global companies and have proven themselves to be enterprise-ready — and can thereby help alleviate some of the concerns UK firms have about deploying AI. Amelia, IPsoft’s digital colleague, is designed to improve customer services and experiences. She also can be hired as a first line of defence for an entire business’s security operation. Her ability to detect fraud, stop network attacks, and monitor for business anomalies at scale would require an army of humans working together around the clock.

The good news is that UK executives appear understand that AI will become a part of their digital operations. Of the executives polled by Google and the RSA, 46% of respondents agreed that new technologies, such as AI, will ultimately lead to greater prosperity. So why not start now?

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