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Insights and trends from Slalom’s research in the UK and Ireland

As AI continues to dominate the social debate, research from Slalom, the global business and technology consulting company, finds that 84% of businesses in UK and Ireland have started using AI in some capacity.

While there is widespread rhetoric that suggests a hesitation to adopt AI, Slalom’s new research finds that just 13% of businesses across industries have not yet begun working with AI.

The majority of businesses place themselves in an exploratory stage (26%), stating that they had a successful trial and are exploring how to integrate it into their work, while the second biggest group labelled themselves as confident (24%), with AI tools already being used across the organisation. Classing themselves at the pioneering stage, 6% of businesses have a full suite of bespoke solutions and a clear strategy currently being adopted.

The survey, run in conjunction with Censuswide in August 2023, also found that businesses across the board find AI to be trustworthy, with 84% stating they trust the technology. Those in senior roles trust AI more than others, with 97% of C-suite respondents and 93% of business owners saying AI is trustworthy.

When looking into the reasons behind the trust, Slalom’s survey finds that most respondents deem AI to be trustworthy because competitors are using it (24%), and almost a fifth (19%) claim this is because of media influence or because it is recommended by trusted content (19%).

Although those in senior positions are more likely to trust AI, their threshold for trust is also higher, with 31% of C-suite citing their lived experience as the top reason for their trust, as opposed to outside influences.

While many businesses are already using AI, concerns still remain with security, with 45% of respondents viewing increased data privacy risks as the biggest negative impact, and 40% of respondents concerned about the likelihood of cyber-attacks stemming from using AI.

Dave Williams, president of Slalom UK & Ireland commented: “The use of AI tools has been firmly established in Slalom’s approach to business & technology consulting for some time, and it’s brilliant to see that 84% of organisations are already using AI and find it trustworthy.

“AI unlocks opportunities across nearly every aspect of business in every industry, it’s so much more than just using chatbots or voice assistants. I’m excited to see that there are a portion of UK businesses who deem themselves at the pioneering stage, with focused solutions and a clear strategy that incorporates AI into their organisation.

“This is only going to grow as understanding of AI continues to improve. When incorporated into core elements of business strategy, the combination of AI and human capability is going to be what sets organisations apart from each other.”

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