A report from Deloitte, which includes responses from 51 organisations with a combined market value of £229bn, found that more than half of respondents expect to invest more than £10m by 2020 in digital technologies such as AI, cloud, robotics, blockchain, analytics, the IoT, and VR and AR. 73 per cent of those will invest in robotics, 63 per cent in VR and AR, 62 per cent in wearables, 54 per cent in biometrics, and 43 per cent in blockchain.
Those surveyed believe AI will have the biggest impact on their business in the future. Although, investment still remains low as only 22 per cent are already investing in it, and of those only 33 per cent expect to spend more than £1m this year.
“Few UK businesses are successfully exploiting digital technologies and ways of working,” said Paul Thompson, UK digital transformation leader at Deloitte. “Strategies are not coherent, investment levels are modest and the relevant skills are in short supply. As a result, the UK isn’t living up to its digital potential.”
The research also found that 77 per cent of respondents expect AI to disrupt their industries, while just under half expect their workforce to decrease in size once they implement AI. Although, only eight per cent said that they think AI will directly replace humans, and more than a third believe AI will actually complement humans and aide their decision making.
“AI will have a profound impact on the future of work. Our view is that human and machine intelligence complement each other, and that AI should not simply be seen as a substitute,” said Thompson. “Humans working with AI will achieve better outcomes than AI alone, and UK businesses need to get this careful balance right.”