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UK Ranked First in AI Readiness Index

The latest index publication to come from Oxford Insights endeavoured to assess government preparedness for emerging AI technologies, and then rank countries accordingly.

Comprised through a variety of input metrics ranging from public sector innovation to the quality of data found in digital infrastructures, the study has concluded that the UK government is leading the way in this field; a result which has been met with considerable media coverage since publication, even garnering a response from Theresa May.

A number of reasons helped Britain secure this result; scoring particularly high in digital skills and data quality, coupled with its development of “world-leading” research centres demonstrates a strength and maturity in Britain’s contribution to AI technology, and the public sector was found to be in a very strong position to begin extracting benefit from this. This exhibits the UK’s fierce commitment to accelerating growth in this sector, compounded further by various channels of government assistance, many of which Dashboard has been a recipient of.

However, the index highlighted specifically that in order for Britain to maintain this ranking, government investment will be required to continue, especially as heavy competition can be expected from China, Russia and Canada, each of whom have made public their intention to lead the world in AI technology. In regard to the US, however, the index outlines that even with its heavyweight private sector and world-renowned tech clusters, the gap in digital skills will only continue to grow without forward-thinking initiatives from its government.

What we find especially interesting is the number of smaller countries populating the top 10.

The Netherlands and New Zealand, for example, might not typically be associated with strong foundations in cutting edge technology, however, both demonstrated that with the correct strategy, small governments can emerge as front-runners in the field of AI.

IoT and AI will have a huge role to play in revolutionising our public sector: transportation, tourism, healthcare, security, and our environment will each benefit enormously as this technology becomes increasingly mature and widespread. Subsequently, the index result has been welcomed within Dashboard; we believe it’s not only suggestive of a bold and bright future for UK-based technology, but also a clear message that the UK and its government maintain a continued optimism and engagement for leading change.