1000% increase in UK business search for AI experts

The digital skills revolution continues as more employers look for employees that are well versed in artificial intelligence

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Data reveals that searches for AI by UK businesses have surged by 1,070% in the past six months, according to a survey conducted by Fiverr.

Searches for ‘AI art’ also shot up by 6,223%. Debate rages about the merits and drawbacks of AI-generated imagery, with some artists crying foul over intellectual property infringement. Recently, artist Boris Eldagsen refused to accept Sony’s photography award, pointing out that his entry was AI-generated. But, none of this controversy appears to be deterring businesses from searching for the term.

The piqued interest in artificial intelligence suggests an increased awareness of the potential of generative AI tools, and that businesses are exploring ways of leveraging the technology.

Buki Adedapo, UK Country Manager for Fiverr, says, “services that are trending on the Fiverr platform are indicative of society’s rapidly increasing awareness and adoption of AI on a wider scale, following the launch of a number of generative AI tools to varied success.”

Preparing for the AI Revolution

The high demand for AI skills are symptomatic of how quickly the UK is prepping to welcome the widespread use of the technology.

Last month, the government released its AI whitepaper, outlining a roadmap to drive innovation in the sector and become a global policy leader in regulating its use.

The UK is currently placing third in the world for AI research and development, and is home to a third of Europe’s AI companies. The AI industry contributed £3.7bn to the UK economy in 2022, with cities such as London and Manchester forging ahead.

According to a study by Business Name Generator, London leads the way as the world’s most AI-driven city, having 2,645 AI events on offer. London, Manchester and Jakarta are at the forefront of education with up to 29 AI-specific university courses to choose from.

Employers want AI skills, but do employees have them?

Although the growth in searches for AI skills indicate its normalisation in the workforce, demand and supply are mismatched.

A new study by Salesforce revealed that only one-in-ten global workers have in-demand AI skills. Nearly a quarter of global workers rank AI skills among the top three most important digital skills right now.

Upskilling can close this gap, and 97% of global workers believe businesses should prioritise AI skills in their employee development strategy.

If the demand and supply of AI skills are not growing at the same pace, this could represent a concern for UK startups looking to reign in AI in their operations.

Both policymakers and employers will need to ensure that UK employees have access to the necessary skills training to seize the new wave of the digital revolution.

Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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