Artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace has long been a sensitive topic. Many people see it as robots taking over their jobs, while some firms remain sceptical about the technology due to the costs.
While COVID-19 saw global lockdowns introduced and work patterns change amid a shift to remote work, firms closed as revenues dropped and wreaked havoc on the travel and hospitality industries.
In the face of adversity, it forced business leaders to make “smart investments” on the spot to prevent their businesses from collapsing, which saw them “roll-out digital technologies” to keep the workflow going, while keeping their customers satisfied.
However, as the coronavirus crisis saw many people lose their jobs, or put on furlough it has brought about a change in attitude towards AI in UK business leaders, according to a study by Fountech.ai, published exclusively by Yahoo Finance.
Of the 430 respondents, 55% of UK companies have started exploring how AI could improve their product or service. The figure is highest among small and medium-sized enterprises, at 61% and 66% respectively.
The research also found that, 45% of businesses would implement AI technologies in the next 12 months.
Founder of Fountech.ai, Nikolas Kairinos, said: “Businesses’ curiosity about the potential of AI has grown notably over recent years. This has no doubt been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic: survival has emerged as the number one reason to invest in emerging technologies.”
READ MORE: COVID-19 rules could see 290,000 UK job losses and cost the economy £7bn
Recently, a rise in coronavirus cases has prompted the government to advise Brits to work from home if they can, as was customary during the height of the pandemic in April, May and June.