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UK firms leading the way in AI investment

(Image credit: Image Credit: Enzozo / Shutterstock)

Nearly all of the UK’s core industries is set to invest heavily into artificial intelligence (AI) in the coming years, but they will also invest in the human workforce and don’t expect a significant reduction in headcount as a result of AI investments.

This is according to a new international study conducted by IFS. Polling 600 enterprise decision-makers, the report states that 99 per cent of UK’s respondents confirmed plans to invest in AI. This puts the UK firmly ahead of North America and the rest of Europe and puts it on course to becoming an AI powerhouse.

For Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), and Field Service Management (FSM) industries, AI would be used to increase the productivity among the current workforce (60 per cent), and to add extra value to products and services (48 per cent).

Less than one in five said they’d be using AI to replace existing workers, while six in ten said they’d keep headcounts the same, or would be hiring more people. Among those that did say they’d be firing people, the majority is in large enterprises with plenty of jobs that can be automated.

The report also says spending will focus on AI to support industrial automation. Almost half (45 per cent) plan on investing in this aspect, while Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and inventory planning and logistics came tied in second place, with 39 per cent.

“AI is no longer an emerging technology. It is being implemented to support business automation in the here and now, as this study clearly proves,” IFS VP of AI and RPA, Bob De Caux, said. 

“We are seeing many real-world examples where technology is augmenting existing decision-making processes by providing users with more timely, accurate and pertinent information. In today’s disruptive economy, the convergence of technologies such as AI, RPA, and IoT is bolstering a new form of business automation that will provide companies that are brave enough with the tools and services they need to be more competitive and outflank larger competitors.”