How AI is Transforming Business in London

For the longest time, Artificial Intelligence was something that belonged to an incomprehensible,
faraway sci-fi future.

With the sudden emergence of generative applications like Chat GPT however, AI technology is
now at the fingertips of the general public, and is being utilised to its fullest extent.

The jury is out on what AI means for mankind over the long haul (Brain chips? Killer robots?),
but this early iteration of the tech is rapidly changing the way we work and do business.

This is most apparent in London, which has established itself as the European epicentre of AI
activity, and is regarded by many as the most AI-driven city in the world. You needn’t look far to
see the impact that this groundbreaking technology is having on the capital’s business

AI Business in London

London is home to roughly 70% of the UK’s AI companies, with the nation’s AI market as a
whole generating £10.6 billion in revenue over the past financial year That is to say: AI in the UK has become big business, with London – as the main hub of operations – feeling the most financial reward.

The industry’s huge investment in London is highlighted by the plethora of AI companies either
taking residence, or performing business in the city. Google DeepMind is the most notable
name to blossom in London, with Open AI – Chat GPT developer – recently choosing it as the
location of its first international office. Numerous other thriving London based startups such as Synthesia,
Stability AI, and Deeper Insights are also making their name in the city, contributing to a
booming AI startup scene.

Integration of AI into British society is a cause for much discussion, but from a purely financial
perspective the influx of AI-related business to the nation’s capital has been very welcome.

AI Initiatives in London

AI investment has profited the capital not just in terms of financial gains, but also in the form of
greater publicity. London is attempting to build on its reputation as a technologically advanced and forward thinking city by becoming the hotbed of AI activity.

How, exactly? By fostering the adoption of AI into all areas of the economy.

TFL (Transport For London) have been using 24/7 AI sensors to monitor how people in the city
are travelling. The purpose of this is to use the collected data to help plan better transport
infrastructure, as in a relatively small and congested city like London, there is little room for error
when making such decisions. This AI provided data should enable the creation of efficient
transport networks, especially bike lanes and walking routes, which are critical for the city to
tackle its pollution and climate change challenges.

The NHS (National Healthcare System) is also witnessing the adoption of AI into its services,
and when fully realised there is reason to believe that the tech will help save thousands of lives.
It’s the same case for the farming industry, which is acquiring more efficient, automated farming
practices thanks to agriculture AI startups like London-based Xihelm.

Such is the growing importance of AI in London, that it is featuring heavily in higher education.
In fact London is now deemed to be the leading city for AI education opportunities. Additionally the city is home to numerous AI events and summits throughout the year, attracting attendees from across the globe.

The sum of all these various initiatives and activities, is a city booming with business potential.

AI Jobs

Arguably the most imminent threat that society faces with regards to AI, is the tech’s disruption
of the job market.

While the growth of AI has created thousands of new industry positions in recent years, it is only
a fraction of the number of non-AI jobs that are set to be replaced by this advanced technology.
According to a report by Goldman Sachs, up to 300 million jobs could end up being taken by AI,
which accounts for a quarter of jobs globally.

Though London’s workforce stands to fare better than that of other parts of the country, many
job sectors are still under immense threat. “Low skill” industries such as administration and
retail have already witnessed large amounts of jobs lost to technology, but the rise of AI is now
presenting danger to even higher skilled and creative sectors. Design, programming, art,
journalism, and content creation are a few of the industries – all of which are well represented in
the capital – that have long been considered safe from AI takeover, yet are looking increasingly

The ever-advancing skill and efficiency of AI programs combined with their cost effectiveness makes them a very attractive option for businesses. While there are limits to what can currently be achieved with general use AI, in the long term It seems likely that most organisations will begin adopting it at the expense of human labour. 

AI - Making Business Smoother

With livelihoods at stake, it’s natural to take a pessimistic view of how AI will shape business tech in London. But for now, it’s worth acknowledging that the technology is serving as an aid for many
companies, and allowing employees to be more productive at their jobs.

AI programs like Chat GPT, Jasper, and Midjourney have the ability to create impressive content
at volume, though they do remain far from perfect. Organisations using these applications still
require human editors to “clean up” distortions and make the content digestible for customers.

Where this kind of AI does really come into its own is performing monotonous research, creating
templates, and generating ideas for human brains to then expand on. A recent study backed by
the National Science Foundation supports the notion that human workers are not only more
productive with the help of generative AI, but have greater job satisfaction as a result.

There are of course risks involved when deferring workload to AI in such a manner. Where is
this information coming from? Is it plagiarised? Is it ethical? Is it even accurate? These are the
kinds of concerns that businesses inevitably face when adopting AI into their work practices.

What Does the Future Hold?

Few cities across the world have embraced the technological future quite like London. It is a
city in a state of evolution, and the way business is being perform is changing rapidly.

Whether this is a net positive remains to be seen. As of this moment, there is great enthusiasm,
but the pitfalls of AI integration mustn’t be ignored.

With any hope, the city will continue to flourish on a business front, without losing touch of the
one thing that makes it such a special place: the people.