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The AI sector in the UK is experiencing rapid growth, even though there is a disconnect with consumers

In the twelve months since the introduction of ChatGPT, the UK's artificial intelligence (AI) sector has experienced a remarkable surge, with newly established companies featuring 'AI' in their names more than tripling. A study conducted by media company Hard Numbers, analyzing data from UK Companies House, reveals a staggering 202% increase, bringing the total to 1,284 AI-focused companies.

London emerges as the epicenter of AI innovation, hosting nearly half of the newly established AI firms, totaling 625. This dominance surpasses other major cities like Manchester, Cambridge, and Oxford, with London's prominence in AI innovation evident.

While the AI sector witnesses unprecedented growth, a recent report from Storyblok unveils an intriguing divergence in consumer sentiment. Despite the proliferation of AI-driven technologies, over 85% of consumers express disinterest in using AI to inform their purchasing decisions. The study emphasizes that AI recommendations neither increase the likelihood of purchase for three in five respondents nor align with consumer preferences, with 17% noting a potential decrease in their inclination to buy.

Furthermore, the research sheds light on consumer preferences in digital interaction. While 43% of consumers find the greatest value in a company's website, mobile apps (34%) and social media accounts (16%) garner less attention. Notably, seven out of ten consumers predominantly shop using their smartphones, reinforcing the importance of a mobile-optimized website.

Discussing these consumer trends, Storyblok CEO Dominik Angerer notes that brands should prioritize delivering what consumers truly desire, emphasizing authentic content and user-friendly websites during the holiday season. As the UK's AI sector thrives, understanding and aligning with consumer preferences remain pivotal for businesses navigating the evolving landscape of technology and consumer behavior.

Source: adapted from an article by Anne Freer, Writer for Business of Apps.

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