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Tech chiefs debate the future of UK’s digital economy in Parliament

By ET Bureau - May 23, 2023 3 Mins Read

Tech chiefs debate the future of UK’s digital economy in Parliament

Business leaders warned of the risks posed by AI and ChatGPT last night as well as discussing the role automation and digital skills will play in the future of the UK’s economy.

Speaking at the Parliament Street think tank’s Digital Economy summit on Monday night, which was hosted by Dean Russell MP for Watford and chaired by Steven George-Hilley of Centropy PR, a panel of industry experts debated the ethics of machine-learning and the UK’s skills crisis.

“The way tech is available as a service to businesses now means that it can help the likes of startups and has created a levelled playing field,” said Sachin Agrawal, Head of Zoho UK.

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Chris Downie, Founder, Pasabi warned, “AI regulation may not be able to tackle all initial issues people hold, but boundaries can be set in place to encourage better trust and safety in the meantime.”

Meanwhile Daren Wood, CTO, Resonate said, “The pandemic brought about competitiveness in digital skills, we’re all fighting over the same talent pool. We need more ambition in the public sector to innovate and better spend the funds available to tackle core industry problems.” Daren Wood, CTO.

Andy Ward, VP at Absolute Software said, “There’s a wealth of opportunity for high skilled jobs in cyber, software development, quantum, these are the opportunities where we can really shape the digital economy.”

“There’s a big need of no code software to give access to everyone. You need to educate society how to use these tools, there are no boundaries to this tech,” said Sjuul van der Leeuw, CEO of marketing automation platform Deployteq.

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“It’s important to keep software as simple as possible. When software becomes more and more complex, we become hesitant, companies often can’t cope with an advanced digital skillset,” added van der Leeuw.

Meanwhile George Saunders, director of digital at marketing agency Bordeaux & Burgundy said, “SMEs are not as scared by automation and low or ‘no code’. Such software has been built and necessary to aid those with no experience and empower.”

Dean Russell MP for Watford who hosted the debate said, “We live in a world where international collaboration is so important. There’s great scope to see how far we can take technology to see how it can work for the global economy.”

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