IoD press release Assessing the expected impact of generative AI on the UK competitive landscape

Today, in collaboration with London Business School and Evolution Ltd, the Institute of Directors has published a new paper, ‘Assessing the expected impact of generative AI on the UK competitive landscape’.

The findings indicate that the adoption of generative AI could widen corporate inequalities, with sectors prone to market consolidation seeing the most significant shifts.

The paper also proposes a series of recommendations that businesses and policymakers can implement in the key areas of concern for UK business leaders. The recommendations cover skill development, sector-based differences, business resilience and amendments to the UK’s regulatory framework.

The paper calls on government to:

  • Redesign the educational system for a post generative AI world.
  • Develop targeted support and regulatory adjustments for identified vulnerable sectors.
  • Enhance legal frameworks for intellectual property and data privacy.

In addition, the paper makes a series of recommendations for businesses, including:

  • Ensuring a strong foundation of proprietary data relative to competitors.
  • Leveraging regulatory protections.
  • Managing the hype of AI when adopting new technologies and practices.

Commenting on the paper, Faisal Khan, Chair of the IoD’s Science, Innovation and Technology Expert Advisory Group, said:

“Depending on the sector a business operates within, it is vital that company directors assess not only the opportunities and risks presented by generative AI, but also take stock today of the factors upon which the sector itself will transform.

“Our paper provides recommendations for business and policymakers, so that strategies can be appropriately modified. This will ensure that the full potential and benefits of this transforming technology are realised by the business community, facilitating growth.”

Michael G Jacobides, Sir Donald Gordon Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor of Strategy at the London Business School, and co-author of the paper added:

“As excitement with generative AI has reached fever-pitch with consultants and vendors extolling its merits, a rigorous, independent look is overdue. Our study offers a systematic review of what directors and senior executives think generative AI can and cannot do, where we should expect it to make a difference, or where not, and what distinguishes firms which report that generative AI can move the needle and those that don’t.

“We worked with business leaders to piece together a playbook with concrete recommendations both for those leading firms, and policymakers. It’s clear that company leaders must brush the hype aside, and boldly rethink their strategy and organisation. The practical policy recommendations we provided address our concern that in the UK, there’s a risk of missing the forest for the trees with regulators and policymakers staying too narrowly within their responsibilities.”

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The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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