High Tech Sector News

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%).

AI and Cyber Security - Grave New World

The recent cyber attack on organisations around the world, including our very own NHS, has been in the minds of professionals for a long time yet nonetheless for many others has clearly been something of a wake-up call. In the near future, as artificial intelligence (AI) systems become more capable, we will begin to see more automated and increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks. 

The rise of AI-enabled cyberattacks is expected to cause an explosion of network penetrations, personal data thefts, and an epidemic-level spread of intelligent computer viruses. Ironically, perhaps our best hope to defend against AI-enabled hacking is by using AI.  Yet this is very likely to lead to an AI arms race, the consequences of which potentially may be catastrophic in the long term, especially as big government actors join the cyber wars.

Artificial Intelligence Startups Are Booming In The UK

AI is more than a trend in investment activity. Uniquely, AI is a sub-sector of technology which is set for a development surge as technologies associated with AI advance and the reliance on AI products for businesses across all sectors to stay competitive grows.

This is already happening according to Forbes.  A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62% by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. IDC estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.


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