AI to boost UK economy by £400bn this decade, says Google

Google AI UK Image credit: Oscar Hornstein

AI has the potential to drive a £400bn boost to the UK’s economy by 2030, according to a report by Google.

The internet search and advertising giant’s annual Economic Impact Report estimates that generative AI could save the average UK worker more than 100 hours annually.

Generative AI is a subset of artificial intelligence that’s trained on large datasets to create new content in response to prompts. The technology has exploded into the mainstream thanks to the likes of ChatGPT and DALL-E.

“This shift that we’re going through is the most profound platform shift that any of us have lived through,” said Debbie Weinstein, Google’s UK and Ireland managing director to the PA news agency.

GPs and teachers implementing AI for administrative tasks could save around 700,000 hours per year, the report noted. If the wider health and education sectors applied AI, Google’s report states at least £8bn can be saved in public sector resources.

Weinstein added: “We are very conscious of the impact that this technology will have on people. Clearly there will be some jobs that will be lost, but also a whole new set of jobs that will be created.”

Applications of AI in assistive tech has the ability to support one million workers with disabilities and bring in a further £30bn to the UK economy, Google added.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he wants the UK to become a global leader in AI regulation. However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has described the safeguards in the government’s AI white paper as “inadequate”.

Google said it was working with the government on AI regulation and that the UK has an “enormous opportunity to continue its rich tradition of technology leadership”.

“With AI set to bring unprecedented change to the economy, it is refreshing to see companies like Google looking to work proactively with government to take a nuanced approach to regulation,” said Chris Downie, CEO of digital trust and safety platform Pasabi.

The tech giant is also putting £1m into its Google.org’s Social Innovation Fund for social entrepreneurs in the UK.

Want to learn more about generative AI? Check out UKTN’s guide on the topic.