High Tech Sector News

Is Data Harvesting and Sharing by Mobile Apps out of Control?

Data harvesting and sharing by mobile apps is "out of control", University of Oxford researchers have warned.  And according to the Financial Times, nearly 90% of free apps on the Google Play store share data with Google's parent company Alphabet

Many free apps track behaviour across many different digital services, which allows companies to build up a detailed profile of people using the app. This data can include age, gender, location, and information about other apps on a smartphone.

The data can then be used for a number of purposes including targeted advertising, credit scoring, or targeted political campaign messages, the researchers point out.

Migration Advisory Committee Report Implications For Tech Talent

A recent report ‘EEA Migration in the UK’ published by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended that there should be no preferential access to the UK for EU citizens post Brexit.

The report was commissioned to provide evidence for the design of a new migration system and found that there is evidence that immigration has, on average, a positive impact on productivity; some evidence that this impact is larger for high-skilled migrants than lower-skilled migrants and that high-skilled immigrants increase innovation.

London is Home to More Software Developers than any other European City

The UK is no longer the top European destination for foreign workers - results from the Decoding Global Talent 2018 report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network have shown. Germany has replaced it as the European country most job seekers would consider moving to and Germany is now the second most popular work destination worldwide, behind the US.

The report is based on a survey of 366,000 workers, in 197 countries, on job preferences and mobility. The report shows that in 2014 the UK was the second most attractive country for a global workforce (ranked by the percentage of respondents willing to move to each country for work). Since then there has been a decline and the 2018 survey shows that the UK has dropped to 5th place behind the US, Germany, Canada and Australia. Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and Japan are in 6th to 10th place respectively.

The Future of Software Testing and Code Analysis

Today the role of software testers is changing and they are increasingly required to work more closely with developers and to learn more programming.

The future of software testing is using AI for automatic test generation. New software coding tools are being developed using AI, mathematical modelling and source code analysis techniques to automate software development and automatically generate unit tests. These tools will speed up the whole software development process and produce better quality code. The next generation of software testers will need to understand these new code analysis tools.

Let’s explore the future of code analysis itself.  Indeed, does it have a future at all? Perhaps programming languages will progress so far that code will unambiguously express the intentions of the programmer; components will be assembled on a trial-and-error basis; and fault-tolerance mechanisms will make up for any problems that arise at runtime due to errors in components or in their composition. 

CleanTech Momentum – The Growth Of Digital

BP has announced plans to invest US$500 million (£358.5 million) in low carbon businesses each year as it looks to further embrace the low carbon transition.

The oil and gas giant has just reported its 2017 financial performance - a full year underlying profit of US$6.2 billion - allowing the firm to continue with its five-year strategic plan to embrace the energy transition.  The investment commitment mirrors Shell’s recent plans to invest as much as US$2 billion per year in low carbon development.

AI Voice Assistants in the Smart Home and Office

The battle now raging between the big technology companies for consumer cash is focused on Smart Speakers with integrated AI voice assistants. Having already conquered the pocket with the ubiquitous smartphone, big tech has been struggling to come up with the next must-have gadget that will open up a potentially lucrative new market - the home.

A pilot light was lit when Amazon’s Echo launched in 2014 and became a sleeper hit. The Echo is first a wireless speaker but is capable of much more and is now in its second generation with several variations available. Using nothing but the sound of your voice, the assistant uses natural language processing to play music, search the web, create to-do and shopping lists, shop online, get weather reports and dim your lights —all while your smartphone stays in your pocket.

AI’s Impact on UK Jobs In The Future #2

The CBI is calling on the government to establish a joint commission tasked with examining the impact of AI on people and jobs across all sectors of the UK economy.

Based on research it conducted into the way that technology is changing the way we live and work, the CBI said recently that it had identified three technologies - AI, Blockchain and the Internet of Things - that are set to move from the fringes to the mainstream within the next five years.

However, it also found, that only a third of businesses currently have the skills and capabilities needed to adopt AI technologies, and that more needs to be done to help prepare those companies for the future.

UK Tech Start-up Landscape - Autumn 2017

Not only has the decision to leave the European Union not dented London’s start-up scene, it seems to have actually widened its lead as Europe’s leading fundraising destination.

According to a report from CB Insights, U.K. start-ups attracted $3.02 billion in venture capital in the third quarter. That’s a bit below the peak reached in Q4 2016, when U.K. start-ups attracted $3.5 billion.  But it’s more than triple the amount raised one year ago, and the third straight quarter-over-quarter increase.  The positive results were driven by six companies that raised rounds larger than $100 million in the quarter. 

Oxford’s Tech Sector Moves Into Second Place Behind London

Oxford’s growing technology sector has helped it move into second place, behind London, in a table of UK cities ranked by total economic output.

According to the Q4 2017 UK Powerhouse report, Oxford’s output was valued at £498m and its economy £8.3bn, a rise of 2.2% in the 12 months to the end of June.

The report was produced by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research and estimates growth and job creation across 45 UK cities.

AI's Impact On UK Jobs In The Future

Up to around 30% of existing UK jobs could face automation over the next 15 years, but new AI-related technologies will also boost productivity and generate additional jobs elsewhere in the economy, according to new analysis by PwC in its latest UK Economic Outlook report. 

The study estimates that the UK (30%) has a lower proportion of existing jobs at potential high risk of automation than the US (38%) and Germany (35%), but more than Japan (21%).

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