Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing business so fast that nearly half of UK firms think their business model won’t exist by 2023, according to a new report from Microsoft.
Maximising the AI Opportunity reveals that 41% of business leaders believe they will have to dramatically change the way they work within the next five years, yet more than half (51%) do not have an AI strategy in place to address those challenges.
The survey of more than 5,000 UK business leaders and employees also found that just 18% of UK workers are actively learning new skills to help them keep up with future changes to their work caused by AI.
Fears of job losses remain a concern among employees, with just under half (45%) of those surveyed worried that their job could be taken by AI.
Some are more optimistic: 59% are open to experimenting with AI and just over half (52%) believe that using the technology to automate tasks can create time for more meaningful work. However, 51% are not yet using it at work.
This is blamed on a lack of strategy and direction from leaders. According to the report, less than half (44%) of staff trust their organisations to use AI responsibly and only 26% say their organisation has a culture of transparency between leaders and employees. Meanwhile, 41% believe that older workers will get left behind by the widespread introduction of AI.
“How society, business and people adapt to AI will become one of the most pressing considerations of this generation and the next,” said Cindy Rose, chief executive of Microsoft UK. “Only by applying AI in the right way can we unlock its extraordinary potential for good.”
A “human-centric approach” can help ensure a positive impact on the businesses, its employees and customers, Rose explained.
“Yet success tomorrow requires action today – organisations must act now to maximise the AI opportunity.”
John Buyers, Osborne Clarke partner, commented ‘This research speaks to the heart of our findings within our Next-generation connectivity report, the potential AI can offer businesses is palpable. We found that 60% of UK respondents perceive there to be opportunities in AI over the next five years. A key driver for this high figure is connectivity – for example, AI tools will respond immediately to real-time data. For further information on how next-generation connectivity is changing new technologies such as AI, download our report here.’