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Research and analysis item

AI activity in UK business: an assessment of the scale of AI activity in UK businesses and scenarios for growth over the next twenty years


Capital Economics has been commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to model and report on the current and future use of artificial intelligence (AI) by UK businesses. The study is based on a combination of existing literature and survey evidence, official statistics, discussions with experts at DCMS and an original survey of businesses.

In this report we present indicative numbers about the current and potential future scale of AI adoption and expenditure in the UK under different scenarios, with splits by business size and sector. The purpose of the study is to add to the existing evidence base and to highlight results from the modelling and identification of barriers that may be of interest to policy makers and regulators, as well as broader stakeholders such as investors and AI companies themselves.

The definition of AI used in this report is based on five technology categories: machine learning, natural language processing and generation, computer vision and image processing/generation, data management and analysis, and hardware. A business is classed as having adopted AI if it uses at least one of these technologies. Expenditure is broken down by spending on these AI technologies and the cost of labour that is related to the development, operation or maintenance of them. All results should be considered as estimates; they are based on modelling conducted using survey results and publicly available statistics.

This content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0

Key Information

Type of organisation: Government

Date published: 12 Jan 2022


Domain: Horizontal
Type: Report

Type of organisation:

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