Key players in the business and technology sectors, including Google, Microsoft, Barclays, and Vodafone, have been revealed as members of the UK’s inaugural AI Opportunity Forum.

This exclusive group, overseen by the UK Technology Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Business and Investment, is set to play a pivotal role in advancing the adoption of AI across the private sector.

The forum’s primary objective is to collaborate with both leading AI companies and business leaders, leveraging their expertise to promote the widespread adoption of AI.

The aim is to enhance productivity, foster innovation, and stimulate growth across various segments of the economy. The inaugural meeting is scheduled for February.

At the heart of the Forum’s focus is the examination of AI culture and skills within UK organisations. The group will assess how businesses manage governance, awareness, and risks associated with AI technology, as well as the accessibility of data crucial for AI development and application.

Despite the widespread acknowledgment of AI’s importance for businesses, a mere one-in-ten organisations are fully prepared to implement this transformative technology.

Building on the momentum of the AI Safety Summit held at Bletchley Park, where a global approach to ensuring safe and responsible AI was initiated, the forum aims to keep the UK at the forefront of AI innovation.

The UK’s international collaboration efforts through the AI Safety Institute and participation in global fora such as G7 Hiroshima AI Process, Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), G20, and the UN will further contribute to advancing the global conversation on AI adoption.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasised the impending productivity revolution, underscoring the need to embrace AI to fuel economic growth. Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan echoed this sentiment, expressing the desire to see UK organisations harness the transformative power of AI for increased productivity, unlocking new opportunities, and driving growth.

Members of the Forum include co-chairs Secretary of State Michelle Donelan and Prime Minister’s Business Adviser Franck Petitgas, alongside major industry players such as Microsoft, Google, Quantexa, KPMG, ARM, Barclays, Vodafone, Universal Music Group, and GSK.

Google UK’s managing director, Debbie Weinstein, highlighted the collaborative efforts with the government to equip British businesses to harness the benefits of AI: “Google’s UK Economic Impact Report highlighted the scale of this opportunity, with forecasts showing that AI-powered innovation could create over £400bn in economic value for the UK economy by 2030.”

Sage’s CEO, Steve Hare, emphasised the practical applications of AI for small and medium-sized businesses, noting its potential to improve productivity and simplify everyday tasks: “To make AI more effective and trustworthy, there is a need for more collaboration between the government and the tech sector to nurture the digital economy and ensure SMBs are adopting digital tools to reap the benefits of AI.”

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By GlobalData