Artificial Intelligence

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered at on 15 November 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to monitor the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by UK businesses; and whether she plans to take steps to monitor the potential impact of AI use by businesses on the number of jobs created in each of the next five years.

Photo of Saqib Bhatti Saqib Bhatti Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology draws on regularly updated evidence from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS run the regular Business and Insights Conditions Survey (BICS) survey, which is refreshed every two weeks and now contains questions on AI uptake in UK businesses.

The ONS estimated that in September 2023, only 16% of UK businesses were using AI, with 19% planning to adopt solutions in the future (ONS, BICS survey). A separate global study by KPMG finds a similar level of uptake in the use of AI in business settings of 20% in the UK (KMPG, Trust in Artificial Intelligence 2023).

Our understanding of AI diffusion in the economy can also be informed by consumer use, which is reported at much higher levels. 50% of adults reported to the ONS that they used AI in their day-to-day life (ONS, OPN survey). It is possible that while businesses do not report formal use of AI, workers in these companies use tools such as ChatGPT or other Large Language Models for daily work tasks.

On the potential impact of AI use by businesses on the number of jobs created, in each of the next five years, AI has the potential to be a net creator of jobs and have a positive impact on economic growth - the World Economic Forum concluded in October 2020 that while AI may take away 85 million jobs globally by 2025, it is also likely to generate

97 million new jobs in areas such as data, machine learning and digital marketing.

DSIT will continue to monitor the take-up of AI in businesses and the impact this has on job creation closely.

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