We polled the UK’s business leaders about the risks & opportunities of AI. Here’s what they said
October 16th, 2023, Kineree Shah

We polled the UK’s business leaders about the risks & opportunities of AI. Here’s what they said

In a recent survey conducted by YouGov Surveys: Serviced, over one in ten UK business decision-makers identified AI as their top area of focus (11%). Their opinions offer a nuanced view into the potential concerns and benefits of integrating AI into the business world.

Key concerns surrounding AI integration

Half of business decision makers believe that the future regulation of AI (50%) is a key risk or limitation of the technology. Not far behind, 46% are alert to the consequences of using invalid or biased data in their AI systems.

Just over two-fifths are apprehensive about data and cyber-security risks (43%). This isn't surprising given the recent spate of cyber-attacks and data breaches in prominent companies. About two in five flagged difficulties in integrating AI with existing systems (37%) and the technological complexity coupled with a lack of transparency (36%).

Interestingly, one-third believe they don't have the requisite staff to manage AI (33%), highlighting a potential skills gap in the current workforce. A quarter of them are wary of the high costs associated with AI (26%), while roughly a fifth express concerns about AI leading to job losses (22%) and damages to business reputation (15%). Just 7% of business decision-makers say that there are no significant limitations or risks associated with adopting AI in their business, showcasing a spectrum of opinions within the business community.

The silver lining: Benefits of AI integration

While the concerns are plentiful, decision-makers also recognise the advantages of AI. Three-quarters see AI as a means to realise more efficient processes (77%). In a similar vein, two-thirds believe in the power of AI to automate existing workflows (67%), illustrating the extent of the belief in AI’s power to revolutionise business operations.

About half anticipate a reduction in overall costs due to AI (53%) and faster decision-making processes (46%). Almost two-fifths value the reduction of human error that AI can bring (39%), while a similar number see AI as a tool for gaining improved customer insight (38%). A quarter believe AI can elevate their business image or brand (26%). Additionally, a fifth view AI as a tool to reduce cyber-security threats (21%), while one in six see it as a potential magnet for attracting talent (17%).

The findings from this YouGov survey provide a comprehensive insight into the business community's evolving perceptions of AI. While concerns remain, the potential benefits are undeniable. As businesses continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities of AI integration, these insights offer a roadmap for understanding key areas of focus.

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 18-26 September, 2023 with a nationally representative sample of 2,003 business decision makers in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced. 

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