The government launched its new digital strategy today, aimed at keeping the UK at the forefront of the digital revolution.
The UK’s secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Karen Bradley, said:
“It will boost our world-leading digital sectors and overcome barriers to growth and innovation, creating more of the high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future. It will deliver the first-class digital infrastructure and advanced skills base that businesses across the country need to be able to take advantage of digital tools.”
According to Bradley, this investment in the country’s digital infrastructure will allow the UK to remain a global leader in technology, despite the current uncertainty of how it will fare after it officially leaves the EU.
Here are five ways the digital strategy will change the UK
1. AI industry is being given a boost
A review is going to be led by the University of Southampton’s computer science professor Wendy Hall and Jerome Pesenti from BenevolentAI, into how the government can create the best conditions for the artificial intelligence industry to grow. As well as this, £17.3m will be dedicated to research and development of robotics and AI.
2. Cyber security is crucial to the future
With all the proposed investment to technology, the strategy outlined its response to creating a safe and secure cyberspace. Cyber skills will be incorporated into after-school programmes, apprenticeships and adult retraining. As well, it pledges to introduce a new approach of ‘active cyber defence’ – which will see GCHQ working with internet service providers to protect the UK’s cyberspace from outside threats.
3. Data will drive the economy
In order to have sustainable growth, the UK will now become a data-driven economy, as “data fuels economic and social opportunities for everyone, and where people can trust that their data is being used appropriately.” The General Data Protection Regulation will be implemented by May 2018 to ensure a standard of protection for consumers and their data.
4. Google and co. are on board to offer digital skills training
Barclays, BT, Google and Lloyds Banking are among the companies who have pledged to offer digital skills training. Four million free digital skills opportunities will be offered in the form of basic digital skills, coding courses as a way to close the sector’s skills gap. Accenture and Future Learn, in particular, are planning to create a new skills programme to encourage online collaborating learning.
5. Tech collaboration is going international
As part of the strategy, a new UK tech hub network is going to be established in five developing countries. Similar to the current UK tech hub in Israel, these hubs will be created with the view to boost the UK’s impact in emerging digital economies around the world.