Google report highlights AI’s impact on the UK economy

A new report by Google emphasises that AI represents the most profound technological shift of our lifetime and has the potential to significantly enhance the UK’s economy.

The report suggests that by 2030, AI could boost the UK economy by £400 billion—leading to an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent.

Steven Mooney, CEO of FundMyPitch, commented:

“If AI is projected to bring billions to the UK economy, then why on earth aren’t our start-ups and SMEs getting the funding they need to take their businesses to the next level?

Time and time again, reports show that UK entrepreneurs struggle to secure access to credible funding or even an independent valuation, in stark contrast to other markets.

A failure to get ahead of the game on AI will have disastrous consequences for the economy, so giving full financial backing to up-and-coming companies that are pioneering developments in this technology should be a top priority.”

Google’s UK and Ireland boss, Debbie Weinstein, describes the transformative power of AI as unprecedented in the tech industry.

While concerns about job displacement due to AI exist, Weinstein reassures that new job opportunities will also arise as a result of AI implementation. She acknowledges the impact that this technology will have on people and emphasises the need to equip individuals with the necessary skills.

Recognising the profound impact AI will have on all aspects of society, Google says that it aims to ensure that individuals are prepared for this fundamental shift.

The report comes at a time when fears about the disruptive nature of AI are widespread. 

Professor Geoffrey Hinton, known as the “godfather of AI,” recently resigned from Google, expressing concerns about the potential misuse of AI tools.

Hinton warns of the possibility of bad actors using AI for nefarious purposes. However, he also acknowledges that someone else would have developed AI if he had not, suggesting that responsible development and regulation are necessary.

The call for caution and regulation in AI development has been echoed by experts worldwide. 

The launch of tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney has highlighted the potential for misuse. Google’s report emphasises the importance of regulation as AI technology advances and affirms that the company is actively collaborating with regulators globally.

Moreover, Google supports the establishment of a “national skills agenda” involving governments, businesses, and educational institutions. This collaborative effort aims to ensure that workers are not left behind as AI technology progresses.

Chris Downie, CEO of Pasabi, said:

“With AI set to bring unprecedented change to the economy, it is refreshing to see companies like Google looking to work proactively with Government to take a nuanced approach to regulation.

A national skills agenda and the UK Research Cloud are admirable initiatives, however, more attention still needs to be given to the risks posed by cyber criminals who are already hijacking the technology for their own harmful purposes.

From online scams to the global epidemic of fake reviews, to adopt a proactive approach to harness the latest fraud detection technologies to take the fight to online fraudsters.”

Google recognises the necessity of striking a balance, enabling agile regulation to attract inward investment while effectively managing the risks associated with AI.

By fostering collaboration between various stakeholders and prioritising skill development, the UK can capitalise on the competitive advantages offered by AI while safeguarding against negative consequences.

AI presents both challenges and opportunities, and it is crucial to navigate this technological shift thoughtfully and responsibly.

See also: UK will host global AI summit to address potential risks

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