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UK economy risks missing out on £315bn due to slow AI adoption

A new report has found only 1 in 2 UK organisations (plc) has deployed a single AI project in the past five years. If this current rate of adoption continues, the UK economy is at risk of missing out on £315 billion by 2035.

The report further found that nearly a third (32%) of senior executives across UK enterprises have no plans to deploy any AI programs in the next two to five years. This strongly suggests that the current rate of adoption is unlikely to improve in the near future; thereby putting the UK economy at real risk of missing out on billions of pounds at a time it is most needed.

The research, conducted by 6point6 in partnership with YouGov, surveyed over 1,000 senior decision makers, from owners to chairpersons and non-executive directors, working across a myriad of industries, including the financial services and public sector.

Further, the report found few firms have truly integrated strategies for deploying AI programs; only 39% of executives have a specific strategy in place to do so.

Executives in the public sector were found to be the least prepared when it comes to AI adoption; 70% said they have no strategy for deploying AI across their organisations. In comparison, only 56% of their counterparts in the financial services don’t have an integrated strategy to do so.

Gary Richardson, MD of Emerging Technology at 6point6 commented: “The report has confirmed what we in the industry have suspected for a long time now; while there’s a lot of hype around the use of AI in the enterprise, there’s very little in the way of scaled adoption of the technologies in the UK.

“This has to change if we are to reap the benefits of AI – namely providing outstanding customer experiences and increasingly optimised business services. Unless the rate of AI adoption improves, we risk falling behind on the international stage in terms of the financial dividend it promises from taking advantage of these technology advances. This is something we simply cannot afford to let happen.”