A third expect 'radical' digital disruption by 2021

Research and investment in new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, are climbing to the top of business leaders’ list of priorities, with a third (34 per cent) of firms expecting their business to change “radically” in the next two years. An HSBC survey of more than 2,500 companies in 14 countries found that more than half of businesses (55 per cent) are planning more investment in research and development of new technologies as they seek to become more customer focussed.

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs reveals $1.3bn Toronto smart city plan

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has unveiled plans for a $1.3 billion smart city on Toronto’s waterfront. The urban design company, which is the Google owner’s smart city subsidiary, published its blueprint for an urban-data driven ‘city within a city’, which is hopes will bring $38 billion in private investment by 2040.

IoT trial for Peterborough’s smart city status

Social housing estates in Peterborough are being transformed into a test bed for smart city technology. A partnership between social housing landlord Cross Keys Homes (CKH) and CityFibre, will assess how a network of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors deployed throughout its estate could monitor health, safety and environmental factors, as well as deliver cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint of both CKH and its residents.

Technology laggards ‘face extinction’

Conventional wisdom has it that large companies always have the resources and know-how to compete, but in an age of disruption, many big businesses are struggling to digitally transform and could face an uncertain future. This is according to a new report from the CBI and Oracle, which suggested that more technology adoption, coupled with better management practices, could add £100 billion to the UK economy and cut income inequality by five per cent.

1 in 5 businesses lose out to ‘dirty data’

One in five business in the UK are losing customers and revenue due to ‘dirty data’, according to new research. A Censuswide survey of 510 UK and US decision-markers for information database firm Dun and Bradstreet found that, a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), almost 20 per cent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them, with a further 15 per cent saying they failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason.

Police Scotland rolls out mobile tech

Police officers in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus are to be equipped with new Samsung phones and digital notebooks, which enable them to email and log into a number of police systems, including the Police National Computer. A spokesperson said that by spring 2020, every response officer and community police officer in the country will be equipped with the devices.

85% of firms struggle to protect systems from cyber attack

New research has revealed that 85 per cent of large enterprises rated having “insufficient visibility into network activity to be certain about what is happening” as a significant challenge for their organisation. This is according to a survey commissioned by Endace and carried out by Virtual Intelligence Briefing among senior executives and technical staff at more than 250 large enterprises globally, which also found that 80 per cent rated ‘alert fatigue’ as a significant concern.

Facebook to call for tighter internet regulation

Facebook is set to call on lawmakers to draw up tighter regulation for global tech giants, signalling the company’s openness to sweeping changes to the rules governing online content.Speaking ahead of a major speech today, Nick Clegg, who became Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications in 2018 after serving as the UK’s deputy prime minister from 2010 to 2015, said that responsibility for new rules on removing harmful and violent content from its platforms was not something the company “can or should” do on its own.

Automation could put 40% of jobs at risk

Workplace automation and new technology could lead to nearly 40 per cent of jobs changing significantly or becoming redundant in the next five years, according to a new report from the Open University. The study, based on a survey of 500 chief technology officers, managing directors, HR directors and HR managers in the UK, estimated that 12 million jobs could be affected by the digital revolution, with 37 per cent expected to change or be eliminated altogether in the next five years.

BIS warns over BigTech entry into banking

Governments and regulators should act to ensure the entry of BigTech firms into financial services will not pose risks to financial stability, competition and data protection, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The Basel-based entity, which promotes co-operation between central banks, used its latest annual report to issue a call for a swift regulatory response from governments to ensure a “level playing field between BigTechs and banks”.

Over a third of businesses implementing AI

The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding, with more than a third (38 per cent) of businesses implementing some form of the technology within the past year. A social media survey of 500 professionals carried out by MHR Analytics found that machine learning or AI featured in respondents’ analytics approach in the last 12 months.

Pi Labs ramps-up PropTech investment

Investment firm Pi Labs is to significantly increase its funding activity within the PropTech sector. The company, which has already raised £110 million and backed 44 tech firms, says it will raise stakes in each startup it selects from £250,000 to £1 million and double the number of companies it backs each year.