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Digital ID and AI are drivers of the UK's economic future, says Tony Blair |

The Economic Case for Reimagining the State is the latest technology-focused paper from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, published through its Future of Britain initiative. The report is an equal mix of sugar-coated bitter truths and open laments about the current state of Britain: “This is not 1997,” it says at the outset, referring to the year Blair took office as prime minister. But he does propose a solution.

The answer involves AI and digital identification, among other emerging technologies. The economic environment in the UK is “dire”, he says, and so “the new government needs to take advantage of the only structural tailwind that is pushing in a positive direction: technological progress”.

The report's definition of positive is deeply rooted in traditional economic measures. “We are at the dawn of a new era of artificial intelligence technology that is already producing huge financial and productivity gains among businesses on the frontier of adoption,” the report says. “If these gains are extended to the wider economy, they could boost UK growth by up to 1.5 percentage points a year over a decade, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“In a plausible, albeit rapid, AI uptake scenario, AI-enabled growth could generate enough tax revenue (up to £40bn a year in a decade and £100bn by 2040) to offset all the additional fiscal pressure the UK faces up to 2040.”


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