AI: Time to “Get Serious”

11 Dec 2019

Microsoft’s latest report into the state of AI within the UK is a timely reminder that if you want to gain a competitive edge, the time to act is now.

You know the problem with all those ‘AI is the tech of the future’ reports and articles we’ve been awash with over the past few years? It’s this: as long as businesses are encouraged to think of AI as something still just over the horizon, the imperative to act now doesn’t exist.

Such views present a problem, because AI isn’t over the horizon. It’s at the door right now and it’s time – some would say past time – to let it in.

AI gets real

Consider the following insights from Microsoft’s Accelerating Competitive Advantage With AI report:

The report highlights the worrying reality for continued evolution of AI in the UK. 74% of the 5,000 business leaders surveyed doubt the UK has the socio-economic structures in place to be a world leader in AI.

Yet as Microsoft UK CEO Cindy Rose notes,

“There is now a clear link between an organisation’s full deployment of AI technologies and its ability to gain and retain a competitive edge.”Cindy Rose

So it’s clearly time for UK businesses to move beyond the ‘experimental’ or (less charitably) ‘dabbling’ phase and embrace real change, transforming culturally as well as technically, empowering workers at all levels to use the technology effectively and ethically.

Get started, get serious

“If the message of our 2018 report was ‘get started’,” adds Cindy Rose, “12 months later it is ‘get serious’.”

That’s the thinking behind BIMA’s Age of AI series which, in partnership with Microsoft, is helping BIMA members build a better toolkit for introducing AI to their own and to client businesses. Our AI Breakfast Briefings and Roundtables have already started that process with an exploration of how to build an AI-ready culture.

In the New Year, we move on to AI, diversity and ethics. You can find out more and register for the Breakfast Briefing and the Roundtable events now here

AI is no longer the future. Yes, it will evolve and improve. Its capabilities will grow and its impact will be ever-more widely felt. But its time is now. It’s time to jump on. It’s time to get serious.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine LearningTech

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