Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver smart initiatives

Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver smart initiatives

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Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver Smart initiativesLocal authorities, which are on the front line of implementation when it comes to smart, place-based digital initiatives could be helped to deliver positive, sustainable citizen outcomes for their locality with the formation of a Digital Board – a new report claims. Launched at techUK’s Local Gov Transformation: Creating smart places event, What makes a ‘good’ Digital Board? draws upon the expertise of techUK industry members and public sector stakeholders to guide local authorities through building a stronger understanding of digital, data and technological solutions into decision-making levels by establishing and maintaining a good Digital Board. More →

New report aims to debunk myth that AI will be intrinsically bad for people at work

New report aims to debunk myth that AI will be intrinsically bad for people at work

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The latest report that claims to debunk the myths surrounding AI in the workplace arrives from Tata Communications who worked with academics at UC Berkeley to interview 120 business leaders about their attitudes to AI. The report, AI and the Future of Work (registration required) claims to shift ‘the conversation from dystopian fears toward human collaboration and cognitive diversity, the study identifies how AI can diversify human thinking rather than replace it. The study identifies opportunities for businesses and employees based on insights from leaders such as Tony Blair, Executive Chair of the Institute of Global Change and former UK Prime Minister, who predicts that, AI will allow us to do what it is that we are uniquely meant to do: focus on high-level thinking, strategy, and paving the way for innovation.’

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Employees often too busy keeping up with workloads to innovate

Employees often too busy keeping up with workloads to innovate

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Employees too busy keeping up with workloads to innovate

The majority of workers say their workplace regularly asks them to innovate, but a full 65 percent say they’re so swamped with day-to-day work that they don’t have time to think about the future, a new report by Workfront claims. Yet their work remains important to employees, as over half (57 percent) says what they do matters to them personally. The report also found that UK workers rate their own contributions higher than those of their colleagues. On average, most workers scored their productivity at 7.84/10, compared with 7.05 for co-workers and 6.28 for company leadership. Most do believe though that automation will boost personal productivity, as seventy-seven percent thought that the rise of automation will help people and teams think of work in new and innovative ways. There are concerns too regarding too many time wasting activities, with staff spending only 39 per cent of their workday on their primary tasks. Emails and pointless meetings topped the list of things that keep knowledge workers from getting work done.

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Reinventing jobs for an automated future workplace

Reinventing jobs for an automated future workplace

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Earlier this year, the European Commission announced it will invest €20 billion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and development by 2020 to boost the adoption of AI and robotics across multiple industries, which will have a significant impact on the way work across sectors gets done. Facing demographic deficits, Europe and Japan – and to an extent the US and China – are highly motivated to continue investment into AI, which is growing at an annual rate of 15 percent, and set to reach $1 trillion globally by 2050, according to Morgan Stanley.

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People might be more productive when supervised by a bad robot

People might be more productive when supervised by a bad robot

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We will have to get used to a lot more talk about how we interact with artificial intelligence and it might involve addressing some difficult ideas. Try this for a start. People might perform better on certain tasks when supervised by a ‘mean’ robot rather than a ‘nice’ one, according to a new study published in the journal Science Robotics (registration or subscription required). The study involved asking 58 young adults to complete a Stroop test which involves subjects stating the colour of font used in a written word. The difficult comes from the cognitive difficulty of identifying a colour when the word itself indicates a colour, for example when the word red is printed using a blue font.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the most disruptive yet, senior economist predicts

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the most disruptive yet, senior economist predicts

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The rise of artificial intelligence and automation will create a Fourth Industrial Revolution that will be be significantly more disruptive than the three previous industrial revolutions, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist. According to Andy Haldane, the transformation caused by automation of cognitive skills had the potential to have a greater impact than Britain’s first industrial revolution, when coal and steam changed the country, the second industrial revolution which brought chemical engineering and the combustion engine, or the widespread use of computers in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Majority of employees see digital data as way of being snooped on by their boss

Majority of employees see digital data as way of being snooped on by their boss

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Majority of employees see digital data as way of being snooped on by their bossAs we recently reported, facilities management is more data driven than ever, with the use of data analytics being used to measure costs and performance. This is why the increasingly sophisticated ways in which workplaces can be monitored; from the footfall in the washrooms to the level of desk usage has been welcomed by employers, but a new survey suggests digital data gathering is making staff feel uneasy. A new report published today by the TUC looks at the phenomenon from the perspective of workers’ experiences and found that 6 in 10 workers fear that greater workplace surveillance through technology will fuel distrust. The study reveals that most UK workers (56 percent) believe they are currently monitored by their boss at work and worry that this ‘surveillance data’ will be used by bosses to set unfair targets, micromanage them and take away control and autonomy.

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Over a third of workers are anxious about the impact of automation

Over a third of workers are anxious about the impact of automation

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Over a third of workers are anxious about the impact of automationA significant number (37 per cent) of workers (11 million people) in the UK worry their job will change for the worse and 23 per cent (7 million people) are concerned that their current job may no longer be needed, claims a survey into the impact of automation over the next decade. In the survey, carried out to mark the launch of a new Commission on Workers and Technology chaired by Yvette Cooper MP, workers were 73 per cent confident they can adapt to technological change and update their skill if automation affects their job and over half think (53 per cent) are optimistic that technology change will be good for their working lives. More →

Workers are becoming more concerned about what jobs robots will replace first

Workers are becoming more concerned about what jobs robots will replace first

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Workers are becoming more concerned about what jobs robots will replace firstFears of robots taking workers’ jobs appear to have lessened over the last year, a new report has suggested. Research from Perkbox and SEMrush examined fears of robots at work according to online searches from January 2015 to June 2018 in the UK and found that in just one year, from 2015 to 2016 the phrase ‘will robots take my job?’ increased from zero to 1,600 average monthly searches. In 2017, the phrase was searched 197,800 times/monthly on average. In 2018 so far, the average has dropped but it remains relatively high regardless (57,833 searches). According to online searches with keyword ‘robots’ and ‘work,’ people are gradually becoming more concerned about what jobs robots will replace first. The phrase ‘what jobs will be replaced by robots? was rarely searched in 2015. However, in 2016-17 the number rose from 200 searches/monthly on average (2016) to 2,400 on average in 2017 (a 1,100 percent increase). More →

Digital transformation is making it challenging to find qualified employees

Digital transformation is making it challenging to find qualified employees

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Digital transformation making it challenging to find qualified employeesTraditional job roles are becoming more complex due to digital transformation initiatives a new poll claims, with UK businesses having to wait more than five months, on average, for new joiners to get up to speed in their jobs. In the research by Robert Half of almost 5,000 CFOs in 14 countries, CFOs in the UK report that the key skills for finance professionals are changing. With digital transformation a priority for many organisations, there is now more focus on skills such as data analysis (cited by 43 percent of CFOs), financial analysis (35 percent), and data forecasting (34 percent). Finding the right people with these abilities is made even more challenging by the fact that businesses around the world are struggling to find qualified professionals. Almost all (93 percent) UK businesses find it challenging to attract qualified accounting and finance professionals. Globally, the issue is equally pronounced, with 94 percent of businesses also reporting similar challenges.

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Driverless vehicles will be on our roads within three years, claim industry experts

Driverless vehicles will be on our roads within three years, claim industry experts

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Car companies, ride-hailing services and car industry technology suppliers each have their own prediction for when driverless cars will be ready to take to highways and city streets. Consultancy BDO has carried out a meta-analysis of a range of predictions and forecasts and concludes that autonomous vehicles will arrive in early 2021. There are some differences though, according to thh authors. Averaging out the predictions, car companies think that driverless technology will be ready around 2 am on June 11th, 2021. Ride-hailing services and technology suppliers are a bit more optimistic. They predict that autonomous car technology will be ready by midnight, March 14th, 2020.

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Half of CIOs say Artificial Intelligence will lead to more jobs and improve productivity

Half of CIOs say Artificial Intelligence will lead to more jobs and improve productivity

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Half of CIOs say Artificial Intelligence will lead to more jobs and improve productivity

Fears that Artificial Intelligence will destroy the job market are not shared by more than half (51 percent) of UK CIOs who see AI as a job creator. This is more than three times the number who say that it will diminish workers’ job prospects (16 percent). For the survey UK CIOs were asked, ‘Artificial intelligence is changing the way that companies operate and people work. Do you think AI will have a positive or negative impact on job creation and recruitment?’ Their largely positive response closely reflects that of a recent PWC report which predicts AI could create as many jobs as it displaces in the UK over the next 20 years. More →

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