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UK slow to deploy AI post-Covid, research suggests

Written by Wed 12 May 2021

New IBM research shows UK trailing behind China in AI accleration

Results from the recent IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2021 survey of senior IT decision-makers makes for uncomfortable reading in the UK.

More than 5,000 businesses across the world responded to the survey on the use of AI, with 500 coming from the UK.

The survey showed that compared to European countries and other nations, the UK reported has some of the weakest adoption rates for AI, with 49 percent of UK firms using automation tools compared to 71 percent of Chinese companies.

36 percent of IT decision-makers from the overall survey of UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain organisations said their AI implementations had expanded due to the Covid pandemic. But just 27 per cent of UK professionals agreed their organisations had sped up the AI roll-out.

There are many potential reasons for the discrepancy between the UK and other countries, including a difficulty in finding and hiring advanced AI talent who are able to work with extremely complex data.

The results also highlight how larger enterprises are close to 70 percent more likely than smaller firms to have used AI in their business operations.

On a global scale, the results from the survey show that AI investment is growing as firms begin to emerge into a post-pandemic world, according to Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud and Data Platform.

“A large majority of those investments continue to be focused on the three key capabilities that define AI for business – automating IT and processes, building trust in AI outcomes, and understanding the language of business. We believe these investments will continue to accelerate rapidly as customers look for new, innovative ways to drive their digital transformations by taking advantage of hybrid cloud and AI,” explains Thomas.

Written by Wed 12 May 2021


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