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More companies turn to AI

New research, conducted by Fountech Solutions, has shown that a growing number of UK businesses are turning to AI to build back from Covid-19.

The survey of 750 decision-makers within UK businesses found that a third had piloted an AI solution for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, and that forty per cent plan to make AI investment a priority for 2021.

The investment is seen as giving their businesses a sustainable advantage in the long-term, and for many it’s been a natural response to the Covid-19 pandemic as they look to leverage new solutions to ensure that they not only ride out the current ‘storm’, but are in a stronger position once a degree of normality returns.

In this issue of New Electronics we interview Beatriz Sanz Saiz, EY’s Global Consulting Data & Analytics Leader, about a report from Ernst & Young that looked at technology and how it’s being used to accelerate the digital transformation of businesses.

The pandemic has accelerated investment in new technology and today, according to Saiz, the debate is less about investing in new technology but rather how to embed and integrate technology at the core of a business.

The report identified six core ‘habits’ that it sees as critical to transforming a business through the use of technology, and investment in AI was described as being a critical part of that transformation.

Covid-19 has been a powerful catalyst for AI adoption across all industries as firms look to technologies that can help improve efficiency or create new commercial opportunities.

Fountech found that not only are businesses looking to increase their investment in AI but a sizeable number are planning to hire new talent to deal specifically with AI, while almost half were planning to send staff for AI-related training. External AI experts are also in high demand, with 44% of businesses planning to engage with third parties to help with their AI requirements.

This snapshot of UK business mirrors other research that shows that AI R&D is continuing to grow strongly. AI start-ups are filing more patents and there is now a growing appetite from more established companies to become increasingly active in the AI space.

There can be no doubt that AI will start to play a major role as businesses look to rebuild and grow after the pandemic.

So could 2021 be the year in which AI adoption explodes?

Neil Tyler

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