Nine in 10 UK businesses to invest in AI by 2020

More than eight in every 10 executives are to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the coming years, a new study has found.

So far, a fifth of UK businesses have already invested in AI.

Half of all UK organisations will have sunk over £10 million into digital technology by 2020, new analysis suggests, as companies look to avoid being left behind a period of major innovation.

However, concerns regarding a digital skills shortage are hampering efforts to get the most out of AI.

A new study from Deloitte has examined the opinions of 51 executives from the UK’s most influential companies and public sector entities - worth a combined market value of £229 billion - regarding the implementation of AI in their businesses.

The findings of Deloitte’s Digital Disruption Index showed that 85 per cent of the leaders responsible for digital technologies intend to invest in AI by 2020.

The top priority for investment among executives has been cyber security. 78 per cent of respondents have already invested in upgraded defences, while a further 13 per cent are investing immediately in the aspect. Similar numbers are currently prioritising cloud, although AI is fast becoming the next major frontier for UK executive spending.

25 per cent of executives polled are investing, or will have invested, by the rapidly approaching close of 2017. Over the coming years, a further 38 per cent say they will have put money toward the implementation of AI changes by 2020. Another 16 per cent will look to invest in the technology, but are unsure as to when they will do so. No executives said they would never invest in AI.

Paul Thompson, UK digital transformation leader at Deloitte, said: “The UK has the opportunity to be a market-leader in harnessing and exploiting the opportunities digital brings, including increased productivity and driving growth. But it’s clear that digital skills, at all levels, are in short supply and high demand. In our view, digital represents both a business and public policy issue which needs educators, policymakers and business to work more closely together, in order to meet the current and future demands of the UK’s economy.”

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