We’ve decoded Twitter, so you don’t have to
 We’ve decoded Twitter, so you don’t have to
 We’ve decoded Twitter, so you don’t have to

ICYMI, this year’s London Tech Week started with a positive and ambitious keynote from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Judging by the rest of the conference, it is clear that the state of the tech industry is equally buoyant about the country’s position in the tech world.

This year’s welcomed optimism comes after a challenging period for the UK tech industry, which included the collapse of SVB UK, large-scale job losses, and UK tech firms’ valuations slashed in the last few months.

What is driving all this optimism? Well, it turns out that all the tech community needed was the spectre of AI (think ChatGPT) to help the industry find its purpose and regain confidence.

So, here’s a quick summary of what we learnt from this year’s London Tech Week.

  • AI is everywhere – from hype to hope: Unsurprisingly, the indomitable rise of AI is high on the agenda – and how it’s dominating the investment decisions of the world’s biggest tech businesses. Senior business decision makers are asking how AI can be adopted to support wide-ranging use cases. Also, the two most notable guest speakers, Rishi Sunak and the leader of the UK opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, both focused on the UK’s position on AI.
  • AI regulation is coming: The noise from policymakers at the conference is that tech must prepare for the regulation of AI. However, the industry also sees this as an opportunity to develop ethical guard rails and a unified framework to simplify the governance processes across territories, creating a level playing field for innovators.
  • AI hallucination: Despite the optimism surrounding AI, many tech evangelists warned against its threat too. One of the growing threats is AI’s ‘overactive imagination’ to provide false information that it passes on as facts. The industry is rightly concerned about this issue because this goes to the heart of trust in the technology, and we must get this right to safeguard the use of AI.
  • Augmented intelligence, not artificial intelligence: An interesting notion from many of the panellists on generative AI concerns our mindset of the technology. We need to move from “artificial” to “augmented”, because the most meaningful outcomes will come from augmenting our capabilities, rather than replacing humans from the process.
  • The UK government gets it: The level of participation from the UK political class demonstrates the importance of the tech sector to the economy. The numerous government initiatives and investments – such as £900 million in compute technology and £2.5 billion in quantum – suggests UK policymakers are listening to the tech industry and are ready to back it. But having said that, some policymakers say a lot more investment is required to really take a leadership role in the world.
  • HSBC steps in to replace SVB UK: The acquisition of SVB UK brought a lot of uncertainty to the UK tech funding and venture debt market. HSBC’s launch of HSBC Innovation Banking, a rebrand of SVB UK, should reinvigorate the industry. HSBC’s commitment to funding UK tech startups will ensure the country remains a leader in innovation and AI development over time.

It was great to hear such an optimistic tech community, after a tough year. The sector has found its purpose once more – and there’s excitement for what the future holds.

Fancy a chat about your AI position and messaging? Email us at onesmallstep@madebygiants.io.