With Ai embedded technologies pervading life in general, whether wanted or not, an objective of the Innovation Hub will be to raise awareness of what is already available and the opportunities these innovations offer to improve people’s lives (5min read).

Ai Has Arrived

Artificial Intelligence (Ai), Machine Learning (ML), Virtual Reality (VR), Blockchain, Robotics, Semantics, are part of a technological revolution already penetrating everyday life. Banking, medical assessments, treatments, mobile phones, browsing the web, are undergoing dramatic changes. Eventually, almost every aspect of daily life will be touched as these technologies, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, become prevalent.

Different to the Web

Some people see the present technology transformation through the same lens as the arrival of the World Wide Web (www), yet this is not the case. Although the www did diffuse extraordinarily fast, less the 20 years from dial-up to Instagram, there is a distinct difference to this revolution.

The www required people to participate; buy a computer, connect to a broadband line, play an online game, and so on. This next phase of computing does not even need a person to own a mobile phone for it to impact them. A walk to the shop to buy milk will provide a flurry of data for machines to pick over; how long did it take to cross the road? Was semi-skimmed, full-fat or an alternative milk purchased? What size milk carton? How many steps were walked?

People do not have a choice whether to participate or not, and this is what makes the coming age different.

Resistance is Futile

Particularly for older people, some of these technologies will appear scary and unfathomable. To say that there are no risks to personal privacy or society in general from these innovations would be naive, yet attempting to slow or halt the process is pointless. As with www, there are enormous opportunities ahead for people of all ages to develop new skills, hobbies, careers and businesses.

This technology shift is not only about mathematicians and engineers raising huge amounts of money to launch taxi-riding apps; it is about the employment of these technologies by everyday people in everyday situations. Embedding the technologies into everyday life is where the real opportunities lie.

Short clip of me walking in Virtual Reality (VR) through a wall and across the Thames at the Immersive Virtual Environments Laboratory, University College London (UCL).

Parliamentary Evidence Gathering

Over the last two years, the UK Parliament has been gathering evidence on the impact these new technologies are likely to have on the country, and how to legislate if necessary. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ai and Blockchain has been hearing from numerous experts across the fields of industry, law, government, charity and society. Full details of all of these evidence meetings can be found on the Big Innovation Centre website – the Secretariat for the APPGs.

“The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) was set up in January 2017 with the aim to explore the impact and implications of Artificial Intelligence.

The APPG AI is co-chaired by Stephen Metcalfe MP and Lord Clement-Jones CBE.

Skills Rather Than Careers

As the World Economic Forum and others point out, skills will become more important than careers over the coming years and decades. In addition to traditional skills, soft skills like, listening, caring, negotiating will be needed. Coupled with new technology, people could find themselves taken on a new fulfilling employment pathway, unimaginable at this time.

LinkedIn have identified four soft skills, based on their 630million members, they believe will be increasingly required.

  1. Functional skills such as marketing and customer service
  2. Soft-power skills such as leadership
  3. Digital skills such as social media, and
  4. Value-added skills such as a foreign language. 

Skills, Not Job Titles, Are The New Metric For The Labour (2019)

Hub Demonstrators

The Innovation Hub will bring together numerous apps, videos and information in an artist exhibition format to introduce some of these new technologies to visitors. Unlike more formal exhibitions on the subject, which often feel corporate or school-like, the intention will be to create a homely experience, enticing people to engage in conversation. Ethics and deployment of the technologies will be at the forefront, with encouragement on how they can be applied to a person’s daily life and the opportunities they offer.


Header Image: APPGai Evidence Gathering, Palace of Westminster, May2019 | John McKiernan

Lu, Jian, (2019) Skills, not job titles, are the new metric for the labour market, World Economic Forum, online 12Jul19, {}

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