The UK chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, has delivered his budget stating that the government will “invest over £500m in a range of initiatives from Artificial Intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband”.
OU business expert Peter Bloom delivers his verdict on what, if any, impact this will have on innovation for UK business.
“Chancellor’s ‘technological revolution’ fails to grasp UK tech challenges”
“A major theme of the Budget is the need for innovation. The chancellor boldly promised that the UK will be “at the forefront of a technological revolution”. This claim is supported by an extra £500m to boost technology development around electric cars, artificial intelligence, and robotics. This, however, pales in comparison to the technological challenges facing the country.
“Right now, the creation of a high-tech economy is as threatening as it is exciting. The rise of artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation brings risks of higher unemployment, greater feelings of social alienation, and widening inequality. What is absolutely crucial then is to promote a programme of innovation that directly addresses present and upcoming economic, political, and social challenges.
“This includes investment in civic technology, the use of big data to create “smart solutions” to create more sustainable cities and communities, and the application of virtual and digital technology to improve public services. In the long term, we must ensure that this research and development is aimed at more than just commercialisation but opening up the possibilities of creating a more egalitarian, free, and less economically insecure tomorrow.”