UK Companies Must Adopt AI Soon Or Risk Losing Serious Cash

A new report by McKinsey warns that UK companies which fail to invest in artificial intelligence now or soon are at risk of losing 20% of their cash flow.

New numbers assert that AI could strengthen the UK economy by 22% over the next ten years by giving companies higher productivity, and quick-moving companies could grow in value by 120% if they invest in AI capabilities.

The report produced by the economics research business McKinsey Global Institute has stated the UK is "potentially more AI-ready compared with the global average", but could miss out on the opportunity if investment doesn’t occur.

The United Kingdom has impressive pockets of innovation but is failing to scale to business more broadly
— McKinsey Report

It used acquisitions such as the of DeepMind, which was bought by Google for £306 million in 2014, and Magic Pony, which was bought by Twitter for £102 million in 2016, as examples of these pockets. 

The report also claimed companies can grow through AI by offering it at scale, investing in talent and building links between the latest research and commercial success. Companies such as Ocado have invested in warehouses run automatically by groups of robots, with software magnate Sage joining in through increasing spending on AI as well.

One of the biggest difficulties for AI growth in the UK is the “brain drain” as Silicon Valley firms scour top universities for talented individuals, a phenomenon that is being repeated all across Europe. However, the government has promised to make the UK an AI research hotspot after spending £300m in the sector in 2018, estimating that the technology could grow the UK economy by £232 billion.