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Harnessing adaptive AI tops priorities for West Midlands businesses

Published: Monday 16 Oct 2023

Businesses in the Midlands are focused on harnessing the power of adaptive AI at a greater rate than other UK regions, a new report indicates.  

Advanced’s 2023/24 Trends Report surveyed over 6,600 senior executives from a cross section of sectors and locations around the UK, including over 900 from the Midlands, and found that almost three in five (57%) said they would be likely to invest in adaptive AI, against a national average of 54%.  

The report also found a fifth of Midlands businesses (21%) are already using AI tools, with a further 45% already researching its potential, despite a lack of national guidance on the safe and responsible use of AI tools.  

Of the one in 10 Midlands businesses with no plans to introduce AI, 41% said this was due to budget constraints, with 31% putting it down to concerns about safety and security.  

Yet despite the appetite for AI adoption, less than a fifth (18%) of Midlands businesses said they were further ahead than their competitors when it comes to technology, against a national average of 25%.  

The report, released today by Advanced – a Birmingham headquartered technology business – shines a light on the complex issues facing businesses in the UK today.  

Half (49%) of C-Suite respondents nationally said they were concerned about the risks to their business in using adaptive AI tools. Moreover, 54% of those working in the IT sector said AI presented concerns regarding risk. 

​​Martin Ward, West Midlands Tech Commissioner, said: “The West Midlands region is a thriving hub of business and has a long and proud history of developing enterprise.

"Businesses here – as elsewhere in the UK – are keen to adopt new technology such as adaptive AI amidst the potential for these to turbocharge performance. Yet there remains no national advice regarding the proper and safe use of these technologies which is rightly a cause for concern for many.

"It’s imperative that businesses are given the tools to understand how to harness the power within adaptive AI and other emerging technologies so that they can continue to deliver world-class work.” 

Simon Walsh, CEO of Advanced, said: “Businesses in the region are hungry for growth and their eagerness to investigate the potential for new technologies like adaptive AI to accelerate their performance is a clear indicator of the region’s drive for success.

"The Advanced Trends Report has surveyed the views of over 900 Midlands business leaders to paint a clear picture of the challenges and opportunities within the area, and the continued appetite for innovation and investment is a strong indicator of the resilience of the region’s business scene."

Yiannis Maos MBE, chief executive officer of TechWM, speaking at a leader breakfast session at TechWM. Photograph: Mr Ladd Media

Yiannis Maos MBE, chief executive officer of TechWM, speaking at a leader breakfast session at TecWM. Photograph: Mr Ladd Media

Mr Walsh said Birmingham and the West Midlands are part of the "beating heart of British business" and said it was and it is "very encouraging" to see businesses harness modern technology to build a digitally connected economy and cement the region as a vital hub of innovation in the UK.

He said business leaders need "time, resource and guidance" to allow them to utilise new technology for growth.

"As a tech business headquartered in the West Midlands, Advanced is well placed to understand the pressures faced by many organisations as they seek to understand how they can use emerging technologies to their advantage," he said.

"I’m delighted that so many of my peers are pursuing the opportunities afforded by new tech like adaptive AI and hope that with proper guidance the West Midlands can build an even stronger reputation for business.”  

Advanced will be joining businesses from around the region at this year’s Birmingham Tech Week, to celebrate tech businesses in the West Midlands and discuss the potential for growth in the area.  

Yiannis Maos MBE, CEO of TechWM, said: “The West Midlands was at the heart of the industrial revolution and can be once again, but businesses in the region must come together to harness the power of connectivity and technology.

"We’ve already seen how beneficial data and AI can be for a range of industries but – as this report shows - many people are clearly still unsure if the benefits outweigh the risks - and understandably so.  

“With 45% of Midlands businesses already researching the potential of AI tools, there is clearly an interest bubbling away under the surface.

"In order to make the most of that interest before it evaporates, we must amplify our collective appetite and encourage policymakers and government officials to commit to researching technologies such as AI, so that businesses and individuals have national guidance to work from.

"It all boils down to education, understanding and collaboration on both a regional and national level.” 

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