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Tech Round-Up: Is the Tech Industry Ready For Brexit?

18 September 2018 by Jenn Granger

UKFast takes a look at some of the biggest technology news of the week, including AI, social media and all things Brexit. Discover the latest stories here:

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What is your business plan for a post-Brexit world?

An article in The Register this week suggested that the UK government had left preparation for Brexit too late, meaning businesses are not ready for all the potential outcomes of Brexit.

Only 6% of businesses have a plan in place for what will happen in their organisation after 29th March 2019, and few are equipped for the possibility of a no-deal situation.

A document published yesterday by the Institute for Government (Brexit: six months to go) reveals that British businesses will not have all the information they need to prepare before Brexit, as ongoing negotiation talks in the Cabinet Office are “secretive” and not giving away vital details.

The issue that need to be dealt with go much deeper than supply chains and best practice. New tech will be required to back up the new institutions put in place. According to the document, in the face of a no-deal Brexit, “the Government faces a huge technical and political challenge in Parliament.”

The document also advises that, “[b]usiness, citizens and other external stakeholders will need to adapt as rules change, new requirements are introduced, technology is put in place or new institutions are established. Avoiding disruption is not just about a government department being ready – it is about all of those who need to interact with a service or process knowing what to do.”

For example, the Department of Transport requires a whole new system to issue driving permits and other documentation after the EU exit, however, this has yet to be implemented.

With so much uncertainty in the six months leading up to Brexit we’ve put together a set of resources on how to keep your supply chain safe.


Jobs safe amid AI furore

Fears about AI can be turned aside today as new research reveals job security can be had in the face of new technology.

The introduction of AI could also displace 75m jobs, with as many as 35% of these in the UK. However, research from Swiss think tank the World Economic Forum suggests that the introduction of robots to the workforce could create 133m new jobs by 2022.

These jobs could be in a range of industries such as data analytics, social media and the education sector, as the range of data we collect as a whole becomes more varied and extensive. One of the huge advantages of AI and machine learning is that vast amounts of data can be processed at the same time and trends can be found to help elevate businesses

The World Economic Forum also said that the algorithms used in robots and other AI could “vastly improve” the productivity seen in the workplace, meaning that the shift towards machine learning could well be a positive one overall.


Social media trust at all-time low

Our faith in Facebook is dwindling and it may soon be time to regulate it as we do the mobile phone and broadband industry.

Head of Ofcom Sharon White today said that trust in social media platforms is weak. “Our research shows that people see social media platforms as the single biggest source of online harm – and most people want the rules to be tighter.”

The media regulator today proposed a regulating system, including targets which would be set to remove offensive content. Under the system, platforms such as Facebook and Google could be hit with large fines if they fail to comply with the set standards.

Sharon White was due to outline a potential system regulating social media companies’ in-house complaints processes. Targets would be set for how quickly they removed offensive content and substantial fines issued if they failed to meet these standards. Such a system could be modeled on the existing British method of regulating telecoms companies.

The regulator sets out to give platform controllers the chance to regain trust in the wake of such scandals as Cambridge Analytica. Across the board, regulation would allow safe spaces online where users can stay protected and be confident in the security of social media websites, steering away from a so-called “standards lottery”.