UK’s London-skewed AI sector employs 50,000 people
There are more than 50,000 people employed among the UK’s 3,000 plus artificial intelligence companies which, last year, generated combined revenues of £10 billion, according to a new government report.
In its ‘Artificial intelligence sector study’, Westminster also revealed AI suppliers added £3.7bn in value to the UK economy and attracted nearly £19bn in private investment throughout 2022.
The study was commissioned to give the government a better understanding of the UK AI sector.
The baseline analysis will contribute to policy decisions in the future, according to Conservative peer Jonathan Berry, minister for AI and intellectual property.
Of the 3,170 active companies identified through the study, 60% are dedicated AI businesses – relying heavily on AI products for revenue, while 40% have AI activity as part of a broader product or service offering.
On average, 269 new AI companies have been registered each year since 2011, with a peak in new company registrations occurring in 2018 – the same year that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced its AI Sector New Deal.
The government’s deal enabled private sector companies access to a total of £300m in funding for AI-related developments.
London, the South East and the East of England appear to dominate the AI sector – accounting for 75% of registered AI office addresses, and also for 74% of trading addresses.
Just under a third of AI companies with a registered address outside of London, the South East and the East of England still have a trading presence in those regions.
However, the report noted that there were opportunities for wider regional AI activity in verticals such as automotive, industrial automation and machinery; energy, utilities and renewables; health, wellbeing and medical practice and agricultural technology.
“AI has the potential to transform our economy, and our daily lives,” said Berry, in his forward to the report.
“It can help us to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face, from climate change to healthcare. It can drive innovation and growth, and make our businesses more competitive on the global stage.”
The news comes as the UK government plans to split responsibility for governing AI between its regulators for human rights, health and safety, and competition, published in a whitepaper earlier this week.
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