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Harnessing artificial intelligence could release up to £630bn for the UK economy, new government report claims

Harnessing artificial intelligence could release up to £630bn for the UK economy, new government report claims

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Artificial Intelligence has the potential to add £630 billion to the UK economy by 2035, according to an independent review commissioned by the government as part of its Industrial Strategy. The review, Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK, led by Jerome Pesenti, chief executive of BenevolentTech and Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, says AI is expected to make “great improvements” for the public, including more personalised services, better healthcare and more efficient use of resources. Robots could be used to perform a raft of benign and “dangerous” jobs  including smarter scheduling of medical operations and hiring on-demand self-driving cars. The report makes 18 key recommendations for developing AI in the UK and was led by Professor Dame Wendy Hall, a professor of computer science at the University of Southampton.

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Facebook announces plans for technology that allows people to communicate with their minds

Facebook announces plans for technology that allows people to communicate with their minds 0

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Anybody who has ever felt any degree of scepticism at the idea of Bond villains maintaining secret lairs employing hundreds of workers that manage to keep their secrets to themselves may have suspended disbelief when news leaked this week of Apple’s plans for driverless cars, something the firm has largely managed to keep to itself for at least two years despite having a 1,000 people working on the project in a dedicated location. Facebook has its own secrets, by all accounts many of them the product of something called Building 8, which is a sinister idea in itself, until you hear what they have just announced. The head of the department that occupies building is a woman called Regina Dugan who has just revealed some details of the department’s work on an interface that will allow people to communicate with computers using only their minds.

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Employers in industries reliant on overseas workers will be hardest hit by Brexit

Employers in industries reliant on overseas workers will be hardest hit by Brexit 0

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Brexit MigrationAccommodation and food services, manufacturing, and transport industries will be hardest hit by limits on movement of EU and non-EU workers following Brexit, a new report has claimed. The latest edition of Mercer’s Workforce Monitor has highlighted how reliant certain sectors of the UK economy have become on EU-born and non-EU born workers, as respectively, 33 percent, 23 percent and 20 percent of accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and transport are made up of non-UK-born nationals, meaning companies in those sectors, and those reliant on them, are especially at risk from the changes in the UK’s migration policy. According to Gary Simmons, Partner at Mercer, “Since 2013, the UK-born workforce has been declining as people retire and we can see how reliant certain industries are on overseas workers filling the gaps. The UK is likely to impose more stringent migration controls in the future and this will reduce the number of overseas workers available.”

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What the budget meant for the workplace; experts have their say

What the budget meant for the workplace; experts have their say 0

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BudgetAs has been the case with recent UK Government Budget announcements, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Budget addressed a number of issues related to the workplace, technology and infrastructure. It was the first Budget delivered in the post Brexit era and this clearly informed many of the announcements made. While most of the headlines over the past 24 hours have related to the changes to the tax status of the self-employed as a way of raising around £2 billion, the announcements also covered a broad range of topics related to the workplace, HR, technology and property sectors and have drawn an immediate response from key figures in the sector. These include nearly half a billion pounds relief on the vexed question of business rates reforms, a new focus on technical qualifications and a greater investment in 5G and other forms of digital infrastructure. We’ll be having our own say about the implications of the Budget in the near future, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of the key announcements and the reaction of industry experts.

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UK government announces plans to invest in next generation technology

UK government announces plans to invest in next generation technology 0

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PrintThe UK Government is at last to invest properly in the next generation of technological infrastructure to ensure the company keeps pace with developments in broadband, the Internet of Things and 5G. It is to invite the country’s major cities to bid for a chance to pilot 5G from next year. The technology is a key enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT) because it is up to a hundred times faster and more reliable than existing 4G connections. In turn, the IoT will boost the application of game changing technology such as driverless cars and smart building systems. Although the Government has recently focussed on headline physical projects such as HS2, it has come under sustained criticism for the country’s often creaking technological infrastructure.

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One in six public sector jobs to be lost to automation, claims report

One in six public sector jobs to be lost to automation, claims report 0

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public-sector-automationUp to 861,000 public sector jobs in the UK – around 16 percent of the overall workforce – could be automated by 2030 according to research by Deloitte. The research builds on Deloitte’s work with Oxford University on job automation and is included in the firm’s The State of the State report for 2016-17 – its annual analysis of the state of public finances and the challenges facing public services. Deloitte’s previous work has shown that all sectors of the UK economy will be affected by automation in the next two decades, with 74 percent of jobs in transportation and storage, 59 percent of jobs in wholesale and retail and 56 percent of jobs in manufacturing having a high chance of being automated. The public sector includes higher numbers of roles in areas such as education and caring, as well as jobs requiring public interaction, all of which are at lower risk of automation. However, Deloitte calculates that automation could still lead to a reduction of up to £17 billion in public sector wage costs by 2030.

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Small firms remain sceptical about next generation technology

Small firms remain sceptical about next generation technology 0

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Robots at workNew research from AXA suggests that small firms are sceptical about the prospects of technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and driverless cars affecting their workplace in the near future. While more than 40 per cent of small businesses still don’t have a website, the study of 898 firms claims that most of these plan to move online in the next twelve months. If these plans are fulfilled, only seven per cent of UK businesses will remain offline by this time next year. However, just one in five plan to migrate to the Cloud and only six per cent say they expect to adopt smart technologies. Driverless cars, which are set to hit UK roads as early as 2020, have an equally low resonance, as just eight per cent of business owners expect they will travel in one. Businesses were also highly sceptical when it comes to 3D printing. Just two per cent of UK businesses who might use the process expect to see it used here ‘during their lifetimes’.

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Public neither knows nor cares about the coming era of smart cities

Public neither knows nor cares about the coming era of smart cities 0

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Smart cities reportThe smart city is the poster child for the new era of immersive digital living, but the British public remains ‘clueless or indifferent’ about the nature of smart cities and what they will mean for their lives, according to a new report entitled: Smart Cities – Time to involve the people published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.  The report claims that only 18 per cent of the British public has heard of a ‘smart city’ and many are unaware that city-wide technologies could improve the quality of life in urban areas. One third of respondents were unable to select the correct definition of a smart city from a list of options. Eight per cent of respondents opted for “a city that has a higher than average proportion of universities and colleges and aims to attract the most intellectual”. And a further five per cent saw it as “a city that has a strict cleaning regime for its buildings, roads and public places”.

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UK’s best workplaces + Great workplace puzzle + Digital future 0

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Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Newsletter see the latest issue of Work&Place, which features Ian Ellison’s look at the workplace puzzle and what an esoteric Marxist French philosopher can teach us about workspace. Mark Eltringham says that despite debates about technology, culture, buildings and design – it all comes down to the human element; and Sara Bean finds that unlike men, when women start having children, they’re promotion and pay prospects suffers. In news, driverless vehicles will have a significant impact on the real estate sector; evidence that organisations which support mobile technology see a rise in productivity; and a new partnership aims to drive sustainable property development in Europe. The UK’s best workplaces are announced and a new study confirms that the digital future will mean a reliance on physical office space will recede. Download our Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on the boundless office; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Government needs to wise up to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Government needs to wise up to the Fourth Industrial Revolution 0

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Fourth Industrial RevolutionLast week, the UK Government passed the latest bill to pave the way for the creation of HS2, the high speed rail line that will initially connect London with Birmingham and later cities like Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds. Most of the criticisms of the line are focussed on its financial and environmental costs, impact on the wider rail network and (frankly poor) design. We can grant the project’s proponents all of their arguments countering those points and still we are left with a perhaps more fundamental problem. We are now committed to creating a train that will monopolise the resources available to public transport for the next twenty years and exist for more than a hundred, but without considering the world in which it will arrive. I’d go further and suggest that even as its tracks are laid, the world around it will already have left it behind, leaving it as an impressive but doomed testament to hubris, old tech and failure of imagination.

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Generation Z are preparing themselves for an automated world of work

Generation Z are preparing themselves for an automated world of work 0

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AutomationThe automated world is far closer than many people suppose. Yet one demographic group that is less fooled than others on that particular score is the one now starting to make its mark in the workforce, suggests a new report. Amplifying Human Potential: Education and Skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commissioned by Infosys from researchers Future Foundation, claims that 42 percent of 16-25 year olds worldwide feel their education did not prepare them for the world of work they are encountering for the first time with over three quarters having to learn new skills to meet the demands of employers. The report also claims that 40 percent of young workers believe their current job could be replaced by automated systems including robotics within 10 years. The report lands in parallel with a cluster of stories which highlight just how quickly the world is moving towards an automated future.

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UK Government opens consultation on its new national digital strategy

UK Government opens consultation on its new national digital strategy 0

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s300_digital-economy-640x4001Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has called on members of the public and industry to share their ideas on how the UK’s digital revolution can be taken to the next stage. The announcement of the consultation follows what the Government claims was a successful first stage of its strategy with the creation of digital clusters in East London, centred on Tech City. Five years on, the Government claims that  the UK is now truly a ‘Tech Nation’ with more than 70 per cent of digital businesses now based outside of the capital. According to Vaizey, “this revolution has been led by entrepreneurs but supported by Government in creating the right environment for ideas and businesses to flourish. Government is now looking at a new Digital Strategy for the UK for the next five years. It wants the UK to be synonymous with digital – a place where digital technologies transform day-to-day life, the economy and government.”

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