Steamrolling into day three of London Tech Week, the attention today turned to the emerging technologies – quantum, health tech, blockchain, AI – which are transforming our world.
Many of these ‘emerging technologies’ are in fact on the cusp of becoming mainstream.
There are few industries that will not be impacted by the technological revolution which is being driven by developments in emerging tech.
At the AI Summit today, there were announcements from the Ministry of Defence, unveiling their intention to utilise cutting-edge UK Artificial Intelligence defence technology in a new strategy.
Only last week, the same department announced a year-long programme working with UK quantum specialist ORCA Computing to develop software for ORCA’s PT-1 quantum computer, which has been designed to operate at room temperature.
A recent study by PwC calculated global GDP will be 14 percent higher by 2030 as a result of AI adoption, contributing an additional $15.7tn to the global economy.
As we face ever changing threats to global security, systemic changes to healthcare and the evolving world of work, we have to keep pace with the change and lean on technologists who are leading the charge.
Agencies and regulators are also looking at these technologies. I attended the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) inaugural Data Conference, hearing how policy leaders from the UK, US, EU and Australia are addressing topics like the ‘Future of the open, ‘privacy first’ web’ in the context of these emerging technologies.
At Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates, it feels as though we are constantly launching new working groups for these emerging tech verticals. Recently, we’ve set up GTA Quantum and GTA Metaverse groups to join groups in TLA such as Robotics, Blockchain and Web3.
More than ever, technology strategy is the single most important growth driver to business. Effectively integrating AI and robotics can be the difference between success and failure for some businesses.
If we want a more sustainable, more advanced and more productive economy, we must put in place the infrastructure, capital and skills needed to create world-class verticals in these fields. Quantum, life sciences and crucially, health tech must be nurtured on their growth journey.
As ever, we turn back to the talent gap. The sector has long faced a deficit in skills with demand for tech jobs outstripping the supply of digital talent.
We must be asking where the quantum engineers or the data scientists are going to come from to fuel the next era of the digital economy. This includes tapping into overseas talent to close the immediate skills gap – whilst we cultivate a young, diverse and digitally-apt workforce here in the UK through the national curriculum.
To achieve this, it’s clear that we’ll need a combined approach from industry and Government working in tandem.
London Tech Week has shown in full force that industry is delivering impressive innovation and constantly finding new ways to push the boundaries on emerging tech – and how it can be deployed in practice.
The Government has similarly restated its commitment to the development and growth of the UK tech sector, as part of the Digital Strategy launched at the start of the week.
As we move into the second half of London Tech Week, it’s clear that London and the UK can be immensely proud of the success achieved by the tech sector to date and confident about what the future holds. Also, it’s clear that there’s always much more to be done.