43% of Businesses Call for Increased AI Investment from UK Government

43% of Businesses Call for Increased AI Investment from UK Government

Daniel Hall 03/05/2024
43% of Businesses Call for Increased AI Investment from UK Government

Businesses that are not investing in AI will likely be at a competitive disadvantage.

Just over two fifths (43 per cent) of businesses responding to a recent Zoho survey have called for the Government to increase funding for businesses developing AI technologies to promote innovation, as the UK seeks to establish itself as a global AI leader.

The findings aligned with 71 percent of businesses responding to the survey that believe that the UK is the leading technology hub. These results support the Government’s aims to become a Science and Technology Superpower, a core reason behind the Bletchley Park AI Safety Summit.

With claims being made at the AI Safety Summit that AI could be “one of the biggest threats to humanity”, the question remains: was enough done at Bletchley Park?

Sachin Agrawal, Managing Director, Zoho UK commented: “The AI Safety Summit was a great starting point for addressing AI and the concerns that surround it. Bringing together the best intelligence and influencers from around the world was highly commendable and provided an opportunity for much needed conversations to be had. We are looking forward to seeing how they progress in the coming months and years as developing technology continues to present both benefits, and risks.”

Additionally, 46 per cent of UK respondents called for increased regulation from the Government to protect businesses from the threat of AI. Similarly, 39 per cent wanted more regulation to ensure AI’s safe development, a common concern raised throughout the Summit.

Agrawal added: “AI has been highlighted as a key priority, proving itself as a useful tool to assist in key business areas such as customer service, fraud detection or the provision of fast in depth insights to help businesses make quick decisions and remain agile. It clearly has an important role to play for businesses - however fears around bias, job loss and data protection remain.

“Zoho has been a longstanding advocate for trustworthy AI. As the risks are made abundantly clear, the implementation and use of safe AI must become a priority for all stakeholders. Not only does this involve proper policies and guidance, but business training to ensure staff can operate the technology in a responsible way and only then can customer data be kept safe, and trust be built.”

“The Safety Summit has provided a good basis for AI development; however, a concerted and continuous effort between government, industry and academia is needed to further understand and implement the business applications of AI. Another positive step has been the £500 million AI funding announced in the Autumn Statement, and we hope to see more guidance around how this will be deployed and the impact this investment will have on businesses.

AI training and skills to address the ongoing skills shortage were highlighted as another primary business concern addressed at the AI Safety Summit.

30 percent of survey respondents cited the government should offer training courses and guidance to support workforces to better understand and use AI.

Following wider industry concerns, a £118 million boost to AI skills funding was announced by the Government with the aim of alleviating some concerns that people have about the lack of necessary skills.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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