Theresa May Outlines AI Goals for UK

Theresa May has confirmed that the UK will join the Davos forum’s own council on Artificial Intelligence. May spoke at the World Economic Forum today about AI and claimed the UK would continue to lead the rest of the world in its development. The prime minister said that a new AI related business has been created in the country every week for the last three years.

May also said the she was prepared to bring artificial intelligence into government.

On the potential job losses which could result in the mass automation of various roles within our industries May said “From right across the long sweep of history from the invention of electricity to advent of factory production, time and again initially disquieting innovations have delivered previously unthinkable advances and we have found the way to make those changes work for all our people.”

Peter Pugh-Jones, Head of Technology, SAS UK & Ireland commented, “Despite Theresa May’s confidence that the UK can become a world leader in AI, there is still a gap between what UK organisations claim they’re doing and what they’re actually doing. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of businesses claim to be actively using AI in marketing, communications or customer service. However, there is a difference between simple automation of tasks and having the vital, predictive AI capability that adds real business value.

“Our research also shows that nearly half of business leaders (41%) are held back from using AI by a lack of skills and concerns that the technology is still in its infancy. Over a third (38%) are hesitant due to stories of AI malfunctioning, and a further 36% don’t trust it altogether.

“A lack of applicable skills is also cited as one of the biggest concerns within the field (66%). For the UK to take a leading role in AI, the skills gap must be closed and there needs to be greater understanding of the business value that AI can deliver.

“The UK’s strong tech start-up market means it’s well placed to lead the AI boom, and the technology is already here to deliver it. But the government must prioritise developing skilled workers before the balance of power shifts.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine