85% of UK businesses to invest in artificial intelligence by 2020

UK companies are increasingly looking to disruptive technology as a means of staying on the top of their game, with nearly nine out of ten plotting investments in artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technology by 2020.

Research from Deloitte found that more than half of UK businesses plan to invest £10m in digital by 2020. This data is especially important in light of the fact only 10% of respondents saw the UK as a leader in the space.

The report, comprised of 51 organisations with a combined market value of £229bn, saw 73% say they will invest in robotics, 63% in AR and VR, 62% in wearables, 54% in biometrics and 43% in blockchain.

Despite attracting the most, current investment in AI remains low, with only a fifth of respondents saying they have invested in the sector. Of this fifth, only a third claimed they will spend more than £1m in 2017.

77% of respondents expect AI to disrupt their industries. Under half expect their workforce to shrink amid the adoption of AI. Just 8% think AI will directly fill human roles.

Paul Thompson, UK digital transformation leader at Deloitte, said: “Few UK businesses are successfully exploiting digital technologies and ways of working. Strategies are not coherent, investment levels are modest and the relevant skills are in short supply. As a result, the UK isn’t living up to its digital potential.”