Tech UK calls for Gov to advance AI action with "industrial strategy"

Tech UK, a trade organisation representing the UK's technology sector, has urged the government to adopt an "industrial strategy" focused on hastening the integration of AI within businesses. This call to action is among seven critical policy recommendations put forward by the UK technology sector.

In light of the UK general election taking place this year, technology firms are keen to prompt the forthcoming government to establish policies that will enhance the adoption of digital technology and AI across the country. Specifically, there is a call for a refreshed AI strategy that moves beyond mere regulation and aims to facilitate the widespread application of AI across various industries and the broader economy.

Antony Walker, Deputy CEO of TechUK said "We live with the fundamental issue that AI adoption and uptake is not straightforward. If we want to win the AI race, we need to look at the nuts and bolts of the deployment and adoption process."

The UK has built up a competitive business environment, supported by a strong demand for tech products and services, but the cost-of-living crisis has meant higher energy costs, business taxes and high-interest rates are barriers to business growth. These problems are making it harder for small tech companies to remain competitive.

Tech UK's manifesto has called for seven areas for the government to prioritise including an updated AI strategy and incentives for capital investment, and the removal of barriers to the digitisation of public services.

The manifesto showcases the need for a strategic approach to AI deployment, including updated regulation and infrastructure development, and calling for measures to support small businesses expansion.

Sachin Agrawal, UK Managing Director at Zoho Corporation, said: "We firmly support Tech UK's stance in calling for an industrial style strategy to accelerate the take-up of AI within UK businesses. We feel this could significantly contribute towards the UK's drive to become a technology superpower and a world leader in AI.

"In order to achieve this, we firmly believe it is not only the role of the Government, but of a joint collaboration between government, businesses, academics and technology experts. This can also help AI's use remain safe and trusted with the right guardrails in place during implementation and ongoing use.

"AI can transform business tools, improving fraud detection, forecasting and customer data analysis, as a few examples. These not only have the potential to elevate customer experience, but can greatly increase efficiency, aid strategic decision-making and drive further success.

"Despite its potential, the UK lags behind the global powerhouses of the US, China and Singapore according to an international AI league table. If the UK manages to accelerate the role of AI in the right way, it has the potential to catalyse business growth, propel the economy, and could significantly elevate its position in the global AI landscape."