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UK tech bosses urge focus on AI skills and growth in high-stakes election — no matter who wins

LONDON — British technology executives and entrepreneurs want the next government to focus on promoting skills around the development and use of artificial intelligence and growth-oriented fiscal measures.

Brits are set to head to the polls on July 4.

The business community has been calling on the two main political parties to push for economic growth, a regulatory environment that is accommodating to technology innovation and a long-term vision that can cement the U.K.'s position on the world stage.

They say that, whether it's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak or Labour leader Keir Starmer that makes it into Downing Street, the next government is likely to be one that keeps high-growth tech businesses' interests at heart.

One thing U.K. tech executives are pushing for is fostering innovation in artificial intelligence and cultivating citizens' grasp on AI-centric skills — across multiple generations.

Skills that help us feel better equipped with large language models and other next-generation AI tools rather than losing our grip on these tools and becoming controlled by them should be a key focus of any government, top tech executives told CNBC.

At Salesforce's World Tour London, a tech conference where the U.S. enterprise software giant hosts several major customers and partners, promoting growth and prosperity with new technologies like AI was a key theme.

At a press conference on the sidelines of the event — away from the mascots with full-body suits of Einstein and Astro, the raccoon character that guides users around Salesforce's customer relationship management tools — the firm's U.K. boss spelled out what she wants from the next administration.

"With any government, I will be specific and I will bang this drum: one in 10 of us