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UK Government launches AI Opportunity Forum to boost private sector
Tue, 30th Jan 2024

The UK Government has announced the launch of an AI Opportunity Forum, the nation's first initiative of its kind, specifically designed to hasten the incorporation of AI within the private sector. This move underpins the Government's commitment to promoting the universal adoption of artificial intelligence, an endeavour that promises to stimulate innovation and productivity across a diverse range of industries.

Tasked with overseeing the Forum are the Technology Secretary and the Prime Minister's Special Adviser on Business and Investment. They will collaborate with AI industry frontrunners and influential leaders in tech and business, uniting their rich repository of knowledge with practical insights to encourage AI adoption, promoting productivity and stimulating economic advancement.

While the pioneering developments in AI have not gone unnoticed within the global arena, a mere one in ten organisations are poised to employ this technology. The Forum's objective is to rectify this by opening up avenues for sharing best practices and ascertaining adaptable measures which can be used by organisations to heighten their AI expertise.

The Forum will pay special attention to the AI competencies and culture prevalent within organisations across the UK. To this effect, they will closely scrutinise their approach to governance, awareness of AI, comprehension about risks associated with the technology, and evaluate the availability of data—an aspect that is indispensable for the utilisation and growth of AI.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated, "We stand on the cusp of a productivity revolution—one which has the potential to grow the economy in a way we've never seen before. So it's important we get it right".

The AI Opportunity Forum extends the work commenced by the Prime Minister's AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, which established a global strategy guaranteeing the safe and responsible use and development of AI, which incorporated the launch of the UK’s avant-garde AI safety institute.

Jonathon Young, CIO of FDM Group, expressed his views on the Forum: "As the widespread adoption of AI continues, businesses are being challenged to develop and implement it successfully. The introduction of the UK's first AI Opportunity Forum is a positive step toward promoting safe AI, building on the recent AI Safety Summit. It is good to see the emphasis from DSIT on how AI is being developed in the business and tech industries as we collectively look to enhance digital transformation strategies."

He continued, "Industries currently face a shortage of staff to maximise the full benefits of AI and we must focus on prioritising resources that provide the workforce with the knowledge required for effective utilisation. It is great to see the national focus to support businesses through the adoption of AI to encourage productivity, innovation, and economic growth. It will take a combined approach, focusing on education and training, supported by Government and industry guidance, for the benefits to be maximised safely."