How will artificial intelligence affect the UK economy?

Find out more about one of the biggest commercial opportunities in today’s fast-changing economy.

Highlights

Artificial intelligence (AI) can transform the productivity and GDP potential of the UK landscape. But, we need to invest in the different types of AI technology to make that happen.

Our research shows that the main contributor to the UK's economic gains between 2017 and 2030 will come from consumer product enhancements stimulating consumer demand (8.4%). This is because AI will drive a greater choice of products, with increased personalisation and make those products more affordable over time.

Labour productivity improvements will also drive GDP gains as firms seek to "augment" the productivity of their labour force with AI technologies and to automate some tasks and roles. 

There will be significant gains across all UK regions, with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales seeing an impact from AI in 2030 at least as large as 5% of GDP.

Explore the global results further using our interactive data tool or see which of your products and services will provide the greatest opportunity for AI. You can also download our UK report to get a more detailed analysis and commentary on the positive economic outcomes.

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The impact on UK business

Our analysis highlights that the value of AI enhancing and adding to what businesses can do now is large, if not larger than the impact of automation. It shows how big a game changer AI is likely to be – transforming businesses, people’s lives and society as a whole.

But, for the UK to benefit fully, we need to:

  • Create the right environment for existing and new businesses to innovate and make the most of the product, productivity and wage benefits that this technology can bring.

  • Look at how to obtain the right talent, technology and access to data to make the most of this opportunity. To meet this challenge, we need to be even more innovative in the way we develop technology skills in the UK.

  • Make sure that AI systems are adopted responsibly and that every part of society can reap the benefits. Our Responsible AI report warns that effective controls need to be built into the design and implementation phase, so AI’s positive potential is secured. This will also address stakeholder concerns about it operating beyond the boundaries of reasonable control.

The regional impact

There will be significant gains as a result of AI across all UK regions.

The larger total impact on GDP in some UK regions reflects the different trade patterns in each of the countries. England, and to some extent Scotland and Wales, have stronger trade links with Europe and the rest of the world. The gains through trade related to artificial intelligence are likely to put even higher upwards pressure on GDP in these countries by 2030.

 

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Contact us

Euan Cameron
UK Artificial Intelligence Leader
Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 3554
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Jon Andrews
Head of Technology and Investments
Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 9000
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Jonathan Gillham
Director of Econometrics and Economic Modelling
Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 1902
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Rob McCargow
Programme Leader - Artificial Intelligence, Technology & Investment
Tel: +44 (0)207 213 3273
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