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Are you prepared for AI?

Microsoft UK has issued a report that not only says 41 per cent of business leaders believe their current business model will cease to exist within the next five years but also that more than half (51 per cent) of business leaders do not have an AI strategy in place to address these challenges. 

Whoops.

It’s a serious study, conducted in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London and YouGov and based on a survey of more than 1,000 business leaders and 4,000 employeesCompanies that have started to use AI technologies are already outperforming organisations that have not by 5% on the bottom line, although it’s not completely clear what form this AI has to take (the editor’s phone has AI built in for the camera but he’s damned sure the publisher wouldn’t count that as a full-blown business strategy).

The report ‘Maximising the AI opportunity’,  aims to highlignt the country’s opportunity to lead the way in the development and use of AI, but only if organizations act now. Clare Barclay, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft UK said: “AI represents a huge opportunity, but only if UK organisations embrace its application in the right way. AI is not about making UK businesses leaner, it’s about how we use the technology to make them stronger. In doing so, we can make our work more meaningful and boost UK competitiveness.” Neatly dodging the “is it out to get our jobs” question.

Lord Clement-Jones, Chairman, House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence also commented: “Without doubt, artificial intelligence can provide a great opportunity for British society and the economy. Today the UK enjoys a position of AI innovation, so as we enter a crucial stage in its development and adoption, the country has a clear opportunity to be a world leader. For this, an ethics-backed partnership between business academia and government will be pivotal.”

The report says 59 per cent of UK employees surveyed are open to experimenting with AI to do new things at work but a lack of strategy and direction from leaders is fuelling fear. Less than half (44 per cent) trust their organisations to use AI responsibly and only 26 per cent say their organisation has a culture of transparency between leaders and employees. Meanwhile, 41 per cent believe AI will see older generations of workers get left behind over the next 5 years.

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