ChatGPT and Bard apps in different mobile phones

AI could boost the British economy by £400bn by 2030, Google says

Image credit: Foto 269662421 / Artificial © Waingro |

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools has the potential to “turbocharge” the UK’s economy, according to a new report by Google.

The report states that the rise of OpenAI's ChatGPT and rival solutions such as Google's Bard would mark the “most profound” technology shift in our lifetimes.

It estimates that the economic boost from AI would be equivalent to annual growth of 2.6 per cent, creating £200bn in additional revenues for public services and “turning around the recent growth stagnation”.

The report was produced alongside public policy research agency Public First and estimates that generative AI could save the average UK worker more than 100 hours a year, with this number amounting to 700,000 hours a year in administrative work for UK GPs and teachers.

However, the report did not take into account the loss of some jobs and businesses that could come with the transition to an AI-powered economy. Moreover, the group insisted that the economic benefits and improvements to people’s everyday lives will outweigh the hit on the job market.

Google also backed the need for AI regulation, but stressed it should be a “nuanced approach” that does not stifle innovation in the sector.

“This shift that we’re going through is the most profound platform shift that any of us have lived through," Google’s UK and Ireland managing director Debbie Weinstein told the PA news agency.

“We are very conscious of the impact that this technology will have on people. Clearly there will be some jobs that will be lost, but also a whole new set of jobs that will be created.”

Weinstein added that Google is focusing on “upskilling” workers to ensure they can benefit from AI.

“We want to make sure everyone has the skills they need. We’re aware that this is a fundamental technology shift that will impact all of our lives,” she said. “We’re aware of the fundamental change and the importance of getting it right while managing the downside risks." 

Google has suggested the launch of a national skills agenda to ensure workers and businesses are not left behind as AI technology develops, with a coalition formed between governments, technology firms, businesses and educational institutions.

It is also putting forward the idea of a UK Research Cloud that would “democratise access to accessible AI technology”.

“This nuanced approach is important if the UK is to pursue a competitive advantage in attracting inward investment associated with agile regulation,” the group said in its report.

The statement comes amid growing concerns over the rapid development of generative AI. 

These free tools can generate text in response to a prompt, including articles, essays, jokes and even poetry. A study published in January showed ChatGPT was able to pass a law exam, scoring an overall grade of C+. However, governments and experts have raised concerns about the risks these tools could pose to people’s privacy, human rights and safety. 

Steven Mooney, CEO of FundMyPitch, added: “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?

"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.”

Chris Downie, CEO of digital trust and safety platform Pasabi, said: “A national skills agenda and the UK Research Cloud are admirable initiatives. However, more attention still needs to be given to the risks posed by cyber criminals who are already hijacking the technology for their own harmful purposes.

"From online scams to the global epidemic of fake reviews, to adopt a proactive approach to harness the latest fraud detection technologies to take the fight to online fraudsters."

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the first UN summit focused on the dangers of AI would be held in the United Kingdom this summer.

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