UKRI, with Innovate UK and ESRC, has funded a £1m two-year research project under its ‘Next Gen Services Challenge Fund’ to help mid-sized law and accountancy firms realise the potential of AI. The project, which involves researchers from four business schools (Sheffield, Manchester, Lancaster and UAL), commenced in early 2019.

The primary research question is how best to promote the diffusion of AI technologies in a way that realises the potential for transformative change. This involves:

  • Examining the added value that mid-sized firms can gain from leveraging the potential for AI technologies.
  • Researching the institutional context; the strategies, business models and innovation practices of early adopters; and the impact of technological assimilation on these firms.
  • Providing a critical, systemic assessment of the challenges and implications of using AI in mid-size sector firms.
  • Supporting and broadening the diffusion of AI across the economy as a whole.