Google predicts £400bn AI boost for UK economy

In its report on the economic impact of AI in the UK, Google stated that R&D, computing capacity and digital skills will be keys to long-term success

As AI continues to evolve and impact business operations, Google claims that initial economic growth contributed by the technology could surpass that of PC’s and the Internet by 2030, saving UK-based staff over 100 working hours per year, reported The Times.

In regards to specific sectors, the education and healthcare industries were cited as areas that would benefit, with admin work undertaken by teachers and GPs predicted to be cut by 700,000 hours — or 30,000 days — annually.

These benefits, however, will only be realised if an increase in global investment in research and development (R&D) — found to have fallen by a fifth since 2014 — as well as the establishment of a national digital skills service, can be achieved by the government.

£54m in UK government funding announced for AI researchUK Technology Secretary Chloe Smith announced government investment totalling £54m towards building secure and trustworthy AI, at London Tech Week.

It has been noted that the UK falls behind on AI computing capacity globally, with the country currently hosting just 12 of the top 500 computer systems around the world, compared with 214 in China and 114 in the US.

Big tech corporations like Google are currently in a global race to lead the artificial intelligence space, involved in innovations such as generative AI large language models, as well as eyeing realisation of artificial general intelligence (AGI) — widely regarded as the next stage in the technology’s evolution.

However, such investment and innovation will need to adhere to pending AI regulation, such as legislation being drafted in the EU and US.

Google’s UK managing director Debbie Weinstein recently shared her approval of the country’s approach to monitoring the implementation and roll-out of AI systems.

“This shift that we’re going through is the most profound platform shift that any of us have lived through. We are very conscious of the impact that this technology will have on people,” Weinstein added following Google’s report.

“Clearly there will be some jobs that will be lost, but also a whole new set of jobs that will be created.”

Calls for start-up investment

With the UK looking to take the lead in the global AI innovation race, Steven Mooney, CEO of FundMyPitch, has called on the government to bring funding for start-ups in the space up the agenda.

“If AI is projected to bring billions to the UK economy, then why on earth aren’t our start-ups and SMEs getting the funding they need to take their businesses to the next level?” said Mooney.

“Time and time again, reports show that UK entrepreneurs struggle to secure access to credible funding or even an independent valuation, in stark contrast to other markets. A failure to get ahead of the game on AI will have disastrous consequences for the economy, so giving full financial backing to up-and-coming companies that are pioneering developments in this technology should be a top priority.”

Google, alongside research agency Public First, analysed 17,000 tasks to find which could have resources spent decrease by half by using generative AI tools like Bard and ChatGPT.


Just 6% of MPs confident in UK regulators to monitor AIResearch from AI policy network Appraise reveals that fewer than one in 10 MPs believe existing regulators have the necessary skills or expertise to regulate AI.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.