The majority of businesses aren’t fully ready for AI.

That was one of the conclusions of an AI innovators event held in The Engine Rooms at Birchwood Park, Warrington.

This event was organised by Warrington Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Warrington Business Exchange; and Warrington & Co in conjunction with TechBlast.

Alexandra Hatchman, who is an experienced non-executive director, board director and advisor, estimated the AI readiness of most businesses was only around 3/10.

She also warned that women would be disproportionately impacted by AI because they do a lot more of the administrative roles and fewer females study STEM subjects.

Tasha Moorhouse is an innovation specialist (digital) at GM Business Growth Hub and works with companies at varying levels of AI readiness.

“For example, we can introduce companies to ChatGPT and how it can benefit their business but we also help companies test prototypes and commercialise products as well,” she said.

“We literally help companies from 1-10 on the AI readiness scale. There are tonnes of AI platforms out there. There’s actually a platform out there called There’s An AI For That (TAAFT).”

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Justin Lawson is the UK and Ireland managing director (enterprise accounts) at property giant CBRE, which has been at the forefront of AI use.

“CBRE has been encompassing and embracing AI for probably the last five or six years although we probably weren’t using the term AI at the time,” he said. “It was smart technology and decision-making software.

“From our perspective Covid actually accelerated the need to look at how AI can help us in business. The realisation is we don’t have people who work in an office five days a week anymore.

“We always speak to our customers about the building having a heartbeat and a brain. The heartbeat is providing all the services, the lighting and the heating. The brain is usually a fairly large system called a BMS (building management system) that makes the decisions on how that building operates.”

Mike Georgeson was inspired to create his AI-driven companion platform MyEvie to help his elderly mother but believes the technology could also help younger users.

“The vision is to develop an AI generated or powered PA that spans your business life and your home life,” he said.

The technology is also being trialled in two care homes but the founder believes it could also help younger people who struggle with loneliness.

David Walters is an investment director at River Capital, which has already made four investments via its dedicated fund:AI.

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He said: “We’re interested in data. It doesn’t have to be an AI company. We’re not looking to invest in the next ChatGPT. We’re looking for businesses that have got a lot of data within them that are already commercially developed and we can help them on their AI journey.”

Neil Jackson is a senior digital consultant at Stockport-based Hurst Accountants and said AI relies on accurate data.

“If you put too much trust in AI it can lead you in completely the wrong direction,” he said.

The other speakers at the event – AI innovators – how artificial intelligence is changing life as we know it – were Thomas Gardner, founder of Fireflai; Rob Illidge, CEO of Vulse; and Georgia Kirke, founder of

Vulse – The world’s first employee amplification engine dedicated to providing consistent and engaging content