UK's Confederation of British Industry Pushes for AI Evaluation

Some of UK's largest employers are urging the government to put together a commission to evaluate the impact AI has on jobs.

With new technology predicted to threaten one in five jobs in the UK, the CBI is putting pressure on prime minister Theresa May to call a commission in early 2018. The CBI has also asked that companies and trade unions be involved to address issues related to productivity, economic growth and the effects of AI on the job market and workplace.

The lobby group pointed out that 50% of firms have invested into ways of incorporating AI into their systems. For instance, companies are relying on AI to process large data-sets and to monitor and control warehouse functions. PwC warned that 10 million jobs will soon be replaced by automation.

While AI can take away jobs, they can also – on the flip side – lead to other opportunities. The TUC has urged the government to take advantage of increasing automation and to invest in employee training and leveraging state pension age.

The CBI suggests that companies that deploy AI are witnessing rapid growth economically as 50% of labour are driven by innovation. As such, technology may prove to be an effective remedy to UK's lethargic economic productivity compared to the rest of the G7, particularly in midst of its current economic crisis.

The Office for Budget Responsibility had to lower its estimation of labour productivity growth, erasing two-thirds of the government’s £26bn budget surplus from 2017 to 2021. Despite the optimism surrounding AI's influence on productivity in the workplace, companies are cautious to invest in technology in view of the relatively stagnant economy in the past three months.