The British government is making a major commitment to robotics and artificial intelligence, announcing that $72 million of a $777 million industrial strategy fund will be used to help draw leading companies in these technologies to specific sectors in the UK.

The commitment comes at a time when governments are faced with stark forecasts about the long-term impact of artificial intelligence and automation. Many studies suggest that the two technologies will eliminate many jobs, but will also create new jobs requiring highly specialized skills. Forward-thinking governments and organizations are trying to focus now on the new job skills that will be required for the future.

Economic forecasts also suggest that artificial intelligence gains alone can boost the UK economy by up to $505 billion by the year 2035, and Britain wants to be a leader in that technology area.

“Backing our thriving digital economy to expand and grow by putting the best foundations in place to develop new technology is a vital part of the government’s plan to build a modern, dynamic and global trading nation,” noted British Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.

A recent report by Gov.uk said that Britain has a distinct competitive advantage in the area of artificial intelligence. The nation hosts some of the world’s most innovative artificial intelligence companies, and is a fast-growing area for research and commercial investment by major global digital companies.

Following the announcement of the robotics and artificial intelligence grants by British business secretary Greg Clark, the online marketplace OnBuy.com conducted a study to analyze which UK industries will benefit the most from artificial intelligence. That study revealed that engineering and administration are the likely two top beneficiaries, followed by customer service, finance and sales.

“It is interesting to see how consumers feel about artificial intelligence, particularly as its use is rising,” noted Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy.com. “AI can encourage industries such as engineering and healthcare, to effectively refine skillsets and approach.”

“Likewise, AI also has the power to elevate our brick and mortar stores; boosting processes and consumer interaction – which is only ever a good thing. In business we should not fear change; it’s essential to growth and progress,” Paton said.

Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of respondents to the OnBuy.com survey said they believe that artificial intelligence will effectively streamline the workplace over the next decade. It is also expected that up to 30 percent of current jobs could be eliminated by automation during that time frame.

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