UK Government Leads the Way in AI Investment

artificial intelligence (AI)

The UK is ahead of Finland, France, Germany and Norway on its current and anticipated spending on Artificial Intelligence. 

UK Government organisations are leading the way in terms of investment in artificial intelligence (AI), despite a number of challenges around the implementation of the technology.

This is one of the key findings from a survey by global professional services firm, Accenture, which was conducted by McGuire Research. The study found that the UK has the highest figures reported among all nations surveyed. The study polled 300 government executives and senior IT decision-makers in Finland, France, Germany, Norway and the UK about the impact and potential for AI on their organisations.

20% of UK respondents reported annual spend of more than £40 million in AI, and 47% said their organisation is investing between£12-£40 million in AI.

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Director of operations, health and public service for Europe at Accenture, Mark Jennings, said: “Thanks to increased government funding for AI projects, a strong ability to scale AI investments, and a skilled workforce, the UK will continue to be a world-leader in AI from which our economy will reap benefits in the coming years.”

However, there remains difficulties around the successful delivery of AI projects with 83% of respondents reporting challenges in securing the right AI “building blocks”. 52% cited security as a key barrier to achieving scale.

37% of respondents within public sector organisations highlighted the issue of duplication AI efforts and coordinating or planning AI implementation. Areas of concern include ethical or data privacy implications (35%), cost and expense (33%) and limited knowledge about AI applications and their potential.

According to Jennings, intent should not be mistaken for ability. Change is likely to happen at a slower rate than the government hopes, he noted.

“A clearer understanding of the potential of AI and a readiness to think more holistically about outcomes will empower public sector leaders to deliver successful AI deployments and integrate the technology into their operations,” he said.

“To deliver success, an organisation-wide approach must be taken to AI projects, with a focus on ensuring data integrity, practical considerations and employee support for an understanding of the transformative power of AI.”



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