LONDON TECH WEEK 2019: AI and 5G to dominate as UK tech investment rises
June 10, 2019
Today marks the beginning of London Tech Week and once again, international communities will converge on the capital to celebrate creativity, innovation and the positive impact that technology continues to have in society and business.
The UK, and London specifically, is speeding ahead as a global technology hub. For the most part, this is due to current levels of tech investment, the emergence of start-up cultures, the calibre of companies residing here and the world-leading innovations coming out of them. According to the most recent Tech Nation Report, the UK now stands fourth in the world just behind the US, China and India for scale-up investment in the tech sector, attracting £5bn in 2018 alone – more than double what was expected based on the relative size of its economy. As such, London now boasts a Silicon Valley-esque tech ecosystem thanks to some bold and cutting-edge innovators at its centre, as well as global technology giants making their home here.
That’s why I consider an event such as London Tech Week so critical, as it promotes and progresses a lucrative culture of collaboration and innovation as ‘Industry 4.0’ continues its rapid societal transformation worldwide.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this year’s big themes are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G – both cornerstones of the fourth industrial revolution and hugely topical right now. As such, the AI Summit and 5G World are poised to be the undeniable headliners of London Tech Week 2019.
From customer engagement to fundamental business operations, AI is emerging as the single most important catalyst to business transformation all over the world. However, to drive interest, it’s imperative for companies that build and launch transformative technologies such as AI to coherently communicate how they work and demonstrate how widespread adoption can improve our daily lives. As this year’s Tech Nation Report also cited a six-fold growth in UK investment in AI between 2014 and 2018, I am keen to learn more from some of the interesting emerging players this week, to better understand the potential impact of their technologies.
Underpinning it all, 5G looks set to facilitate this digital transformation among enterprises. As Vodafone recently threw its hat into the ring with a confirmed 5G switch on date in the UK, and EE launched its own service at the end of May to mixed reactions, 5G World comes at an extremely interesting time. 5G promises to support a raft of innovations, explored in our white paper which considers where the technology is likely to have the biggest influence and its significance for smart cities, finance, healthcare and connected cars.
Taking all of this into consideration, I really look forward to seeing the trends as they emerge this week – both from the show floor and the subsequent media coverage – as well as the fresh insights and learnings from some of today’s most compelling, forward-thinking tech innovators.