29 May 2018

London Tech Week: Creativity, Innovation… Change?

London Tech Week has established itself as a hub of innovation, creativity and collaboration. In the past we have seen amazing tech unveiled, events addressing the changing environment of tech and innovative solutions to our problems. So, what should we be looking out for this year?

Artificial Intelligence:

AI is a fast-growing industry and has been constantly evolving over the past few years. Through 2018, this evolution will continue as we see the way that AI is implemented change from being embedded into machines for humans, to creating machines that are more human – take Sofia the robot, who wowed at LTW last year. This year, one of the events discusses the possibilities for emotionally intelligent AI, as it moves beyond purely machine IQ. Another weighs the benefits vs the drawbacks of AI and automation.

At LTW, we can expect to see insights into the ways AI can integrate into emerging technologies such as blockchain and IoT. We will probably also see a range of examples of ways which AI can be applied to sectors such as healthcare, where there is a plethora of positive applications which would streamline the referral process and give doctors more patient time.

Cyber security Skills Gap:

Cyber security is probably one of the biggest areas we can expect to see explored at LTW. With InfoSec, which we have talked about in another blog, the week before, security is going to be at the forefront of the tech communities minds – and that’s without even mentioning GDPR.

So, we can expect to see a push towards filling the skills gap and talks on ways that CIO’s can mitigate this in the meantime. Ways to combat the skills gap, including casting the recruitment net wider, focusing on developing skills in current employees and an increased focus on proactive measures rather than reactive being implemented, have been the topic of much discussion already through 2018. There have also been calls far and wide for the government, academics and industry bodies to work harder to combat the skills gap, so at one of the biggest tech events of the year, it’s a safe bet that we will hear more.

AR and VR:

Virtual and augmented reality has been buzzing around recently, as we start to see more and more tech offering new and improved ways to see the world – or an entirely different one. One of the biggest reasons that VR especially has not yet made it into the mainstream is that it’s a relatively isolated pastime.

The next step, which we could be seeing during LTW, is to make this an activity that’s a more inclusive and shareable experience. Frog Design has already anticipated that through 2018 we will see the hardware and interactions develop so that we can share these experiences. After the dramatic unveiling of a solo flying suit in 2017, LTW is the perfect place to unveil the next step in the way we explore virtual worlds.

Women in Tech:

The big theme of 2017/2018 has been gender equality and, as they say, #TimesUp. LTW has a multitude of events that focus on women in tech (or the lack of) and ways we can improve on this.

Everyone working in tech knows there is a severe disparity between men and women in senior roles, but as the equality movement keeps gaining momentum and more and more companies are shamed for their gender pay gap, LTW will undoubtedly seek to address this and lay the foundations for change.

So there it is, a brief glimpse into some of the trends and focuses we expect to see during LTW in 2018, though there are sure to be some surprises!