Ian Hogarth, the new leader of the UK government’s artificial intelligence (AI) taskforce, has warned that protecting British jobs is going to become harder as AI becomes more sophisticated.

Hogarth, technology investor and co-founder of concert discovery app Songkick, told the BBC that the rise of AI will make “winners or losers on a global basis”.

The UK AI taskforce head told the publication it was an inevitability that more jobs will become increasingly automated. 

Hogarth also reportedly refused to dismiss recent calls from experts that AI could eventually become an existential threat. 

Hogarth’s stark warning comes as industries across the world prepare and adjust themselves for a shift brought on by emerging AI tech. 

BT, the largest telecom and internet provider in the UK, recently announced that it was slicing around 10,000 workers in favour of cheaper and more efficient AI practices. 

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By GlobalData

BT chief executive Philip Jansen said AI will become a strong part of the company’s future vision.

“Whenever you get new technologies you can get big changes,” Jansen said in May.

Sridhar Iyengar, managing director for cloud software suite giant Zoho Europe, told Verdict that AI should be a tool that works alongside staff.

“AI should work alongside humans in the workplace, supporting and automating repetitive manual tasks to enable staff to focus on higher-level activities that require human interaction,” Iyengar said.

The UK government has pledged to fund £100m into the new AI taskforce, which is made up of experts throughout the industry and academia.

Hogarth said: “The Prime Minister has laid out a bold vision for the UK to supercharge the field of AI safety, one that until now has been under-resourced even as AI capabilities have accelerated.”

The taskforce aims to aid the government in better understanding “the risks associated with these frontier AI systems,” Hogarth added.

The value of AI deals plummeted to $72.9bn in 2022, a dramatic drop from $127.2bn in 2021, according to research firm GlobalData.

Investment in AI had been on a mostly upward trajectory for the past decade. In 2013, AI deals totalled just $1.6bn.

Five years on in 2018, investment in AI had shot up to a whopping $83bn.