London Tech Week opened Monday June 10th with a key note address by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, who announced that “British tech is growing over one and a half times faster than the rest of the economy,” and vowed to maintain the country’s position as a global leader in tech innovation, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI). Governments and businesses alike are taking AI seriously as revenue from AI services will increase from $6.7 billion (2016) to $188.3 billion by 2025, forecasts US Market Research firm, Tractica. While AI presents a massive opportunity for any business or entrepreneur with access to big data, their development of these AI services presents ethical and social challenges that must be considered and handled sensitively if they are to succeed in our increasingly automated world.
London Tech Week is an annual festival that boasts an impressive schedule of events, including the Leaders In Tech Summit at the Barbican, the CogX festival of AI and Emerging Technology in King’s Cross, and the festival’s flagship event, TechXLR8 (pronounced “Tech-ccelerate”). Hosted at the sprawling ExCel in Canning Town, TechXLR8 co-locates over 10 individual conferences covering everything from 5G to IoT, all of which are live-streamed via the TechXLR8 Digital Series.
In 2019, over 58,000 attendees from 95 countries attended 300 events and talks from speakers ranging from British entertainer Ricky Gervais to Facebook EMEA VP Nicola Mendelsohn, making this week-long tech festival the largest in Europe. Across the far-reaching breadth of content, three key themes echoed throughout this year’s event: AI is King, Data and Ethics, and Reskilling the Workforce. Following is our short-list of the most exciting projects discussed at London Tech Week that champion these areas.
AI is King
While London Tech Week covered many technologies, none were as hotly anticipated or widely discussed as AI. In addition to significant growth in AI services, Tractica forecasts that annual AI software revenue is set to increase from $9.5 billion in 2018 to $118.6 billion by 2025. Areas ripe for development include healthcare, security, and urban development where new businesses are rethinking traditional solutions with AI.
Unlocking the Power of Machine Learning
Included in the Forbes 30 under 30 panel at the AI Summit, Emil Hewage is the young founder of BIOS, the Cambridge-based neural engineering startup that is working to replace pharmaceuticals with AI-based treatments, tackling chronic lifestyle diseases via stimulation of our neural pathways. One of the biggest challenges in this budding area is the collection and processing of neural data, which is incredibly complex and wildly erratic. Harnessing the strength of machine learning to quickly and accurately identify patterns and applying it to the healthcare field has led to the company’s success. They recently raised $4.5 million in seed funding and their neural interface shows promise for correcting life-threatening problems like high blood pressure. As BIOS proves, machine learning presents a powerful solution for innovative challenges, regardless of industry.
AI as Cyber Defender