In the world we live in today, it was seemingly inevitable that technology would take over at some point. However, how prepared the population was for it is a different story.
Look back, ten, or even five years ago you’d never see doctors using iPads to diagnose a patient, or virtual reality to carry out an operation let alone creating robots to do the jobs of a human. But here we are.
With all these technological developments happening, the Government has been forced into making some big decisions with the spending budget and invested a whopping sum of money into technology product and development, to better the way we live.
Each sector is benefitting from the investment, from social and healthcare to security and transport. After billions of pounds worth of funding invested, here’s a run-down of the biggest investments to date.
Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
In February, earlier this year, the Government promised to invest £20m into AI and robotics. It was reported that will include the development of AI and robotics, technologies that could help to boost the economy by adding £654bn.
Obviously, the high profile tech giants were at the front of the queue for investment and to power their products through the public sectors. Google and IBM are two of the big names in the industry that have invested, researched and developed AI and robotics products to benefit all different areas within the government.
Google Deepmind is a system invested in by the tech company to try to mirror the functions of a brain, retaining what it has learnt to solve new tasks. AI is based on programs that teach the system how to perform tasks through trial and error until it is repeated correctly.
The NHS was one area of the public sector that would massively benefit from its uses. Within the health sector, the priority is to speed up patient care services and give them a better, quicker and more efficient experience.
Embedded in the Deepmind system is the application ‘Streams’, used to help get patients from test to treatment as quickly and accurately as possible. It is an alert app that uses the system to quickly review test results and if something abnormal flags up, the correct clinician is contacted via smartphone along with background data of the patient for an efficient diagnosis.
Apart from the patient getting a better healthcare experience, it saves Doctors and Nurses time and money reviewing test results and concluding a diagnosis. Instead, it cuts out the middle man and goes straight to the point.
Read More: No longer just robots: the future of AI
Other than the health sector, AI and Robotics can be used within many areas such as HR, finance and banking and the investment industries. With Robotics, the benefits come loud and proud to help workers. Completing tedious, manual tasks at a much quicker pace than humanly possible and also much more efficiently.
Of course at first glance it looks as though the creation of robots will effectively replace humans, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, robots are there to help humans by minimising their workload, completing housework tasks so that employees can do what they do best and deliver their job to the best standard.
In a report issued by the Government last year, the Chancellor Phillip Hammond outlined that the Government would be investing £1.9bn into cyber security. The aim of the investment was to go alongside the National Cyber Security Strategy, to protect the UK economy and prevent cyber-attacks.
Outlined within the Government’s report, was cyber security is seen as one of the greatest threats to business around the world, underpinning our everyday lives through domestic devices in our homes and cars, air traffic control and power grids. Give a stat here to back up your point, we’ve got loads of research on the CBR site, just use something from one of them.
Three key areas of investment are to; defend, deter and develop.
Increasingly, over the last few months, security systems across different sectors of the UK have been hacked. Cyber-security has become a key priority across the sector with £21m being invested in the NHS after a series of cyber-attacks to the health sector, looking to protect patient data.
Speculated to be hit next is the energy sector, possibly a reason behind why the Government has invested nearly £15min a new innovation centre. Outlined within the Government’s strategy is that the centre will be the authority of the UK’s cyber environment, sharing knowledge, addresses vulnerabilities and providing leadership. It aims to develop the next generation of cyber security technology to add to the UK’s “thriving” £22bnsecurity sector.
Included within the total budget of £1.9bn, funds will be spread across different sectors including Armed Forces, address the shortage of cyber security skills by teaching schools and universities.
Benefits of investing in cyber-security systems across the country will hopefully aid the reduction of cyber-attacks on companies and build an awareness of how to deal with incidents if they happen.
Broadband & 4G
Another area of investment for the Government giving the country a boost in technology is the broadband system. In the Government’s Autumn Statement last November, they outlined that for Digital communications up to £1bn was going to be invested by 2020-21. Of that £1bn, £400m is to be invested in digital infrastructure alone.
How does this benefit us? It already has, you just might not know it. With the money invested across the country, it has enabled the government to achieve 90% of the UK premises able to access superfast broadband. This is perfectly on track with their target to reach 95% by the end of the year.
You probably didn’t realise you were still relying on your Grandmother’s old copper wires to provide an internet connection. However, the majority of homes across the UK still run off copper or telephone wires to give you broadband. The Government is proposing this as a big change for the country.
An investment of £17m was made to the UK’s broadband infrastructure, enabled the 4G geographic coverage across the UK to go from 48% to 72% within the last 12 months.
Most people in the world can’t go anywhere without their mobile phone – understandably – so it comes as no surprise to see the UK Government’s next target to strengthen the existing 4G and introduce 5G networks with a whopping £740m to be invested. In a government release, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said the aim is to provide “ultrafast, low latency and more reliable mobile connectivity, able to handle our ever-increasing data requirements”.
Another thing the Government has invested in – and one of the best investments to date for the UK mobile giddy population. Wi-Fi everywhere we go, let alone on the underground is another way the digital investment fund has developed digital technology across the country.
As new technologies emerge around the world, in all different sectors and businesses it’s a wonder what could possibly be done next. All in all, you may find the odd person moan about robots taking over everyone’s jobs, putting people out of work or kids never being off their phones because of digital connectivity. But look at the bright side, more efficient workplaces leads to better productivity and cheaper costs – so you could end up with a bonus thanks to the bots!
The rate of pace technology is moving at is incredibly fast. Everything that’s happening in the technology sector is likely to benefit people’s lives and jobs in some way in the future.
Adjustments will be needed – I can’t remember the last time I used my chip and pin for my card, yet everyone moaned about how ‘dangerous’ it was. Or what about using ApplePay, or being able to access files anywhere in the world in the ‘cloud’, doctors being able to diagnose and treat patients quicker because of technology. The Government are doing the right thing investing in technology, because it invests in the UK population and benefits people and the economy in the long term.