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UK businesses are "falling behind" on AI use

(Image credit: Image Credit: Computerizer / Pixabay)

UK businesses are at risk of losing out to global competitors due to their subpar use of artificial intelligence (AI), a new Microsoft UK report has claimed.

The report, based on a poll of more than 1,000 business leaders and 4,000 employees, claims that organisations that use AI outperform those that don’t by 11.5 per cent. 

However less than a quarter of UK businesses (24 per cent) have an AI strategy set up, the report adds, while almost three quarters (74 per cent) of business leaders doubt the country has the required infrastructure to make AI a reality, and make the UK a global leader when it comes to using AI in business.

“The results are clear. UK businesses and public sector organisations that forgo or delay implementing AI solutions risk missing the boat on driving down costs, increasing their competitive advantage and empowering their workers,” said Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK.

“Given this moment, where both UK leadership and competitiveness on the global stage is more vital than ever, there is no doubt that fully embracing AI-led digital transformation is a critical success factor for UK businesses, government and society.”

Part of the reason why most businesses don’t have a proper AI plan set up is the lack of understanding among business leaders, on how to scale AI solutions both ethically and effectively, the report adds.

While more than a third want their organisation to be perceived as an AI innovation leader, just a third (34 per cent) know how to evaluate the business benefits of their AI investments.