The Month in Technology November 2015 - Robotics & Jersey FinTech

(Published Jersey Evening Post, 18th Nov 2015)

In the last article I reprised a talk that I gave on the potential replacement of offshore jobs by robots and Artificial Intelligence.

The topic has been even more prevalent since then, with Martin Ford’s “Rise of the Robots” this year’s “Tipping Point” for partially read toilet fodder.

Last week the Bank Of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane spoke to the TUC, with some brilliantly alarmist headlines.  The Guardian alone had “Robots threaten 15m UK jobs” and “Artificial intelligence: ‘Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us’”.

Rather than labour that point, let’s return to three key attributes that make humans indispensable ;

  • ·         The ability to negotiate
  • ·         Helping others
  • ·         Producing new ideas

The last point connects with two excellent events put on over the last month, the FinTech (“Financial Technology”) at Radisson Blu staged by Andy Jarrett and Digital Jersey, and the Tech Fair put on at Fort Regent by Ronnie Isherwood of BCS and Carla Harris, again from Digital Jersey where it was great to meet so many future leaders.

It was a shame not to be able to attend all sessions, and the well reported “Leadership Jersey” event by Kevin Keen and Alexis Wintour also clashed. One hopes that such events can be kept apart from now on, but sincere thanks to all those who made the events happen.

Talking with speakers and attendees at both events, there is more innovation happening in Jersey than ever before, spurred on by Digital Jersey with several funded by the Jersey Innovation Fund.

I will go into more detail on a few topics in future articles, such as the very well (over?) represented Block Chain, but a few take aways;

  • The innovation review was very worthwhile and generally positive, but 33 action points are 32 too many
  • Guernsey may be moving ahead with data and identity legislation by having tightly integrated public and private sector working parties
  • There are many overlapping initiatives on simplifying Client Due Diligence
  • “Fin Tech” is in danger of being the new “Dot Com”
  • Client Due Diligence costs were reported as having increased 50% in 2014.
  • Jersey may become uncompetitive as a place to do business without either legislative change or a connected technology push.

Finally, to illustrate how funding is changing in the digital economy...
Since 30 days is a long time to wait (!) for money to appear from people buying your app from the Apple Store, lenders will bridge the gap and pay you 95% of your owed monies now to invest in more marketing to maintain the momentum. And they say a week is a long time in politics !

Technology meetings are a rich source of Malapropisms, so I will feature one per month, all contributions gratefully received (in anonymity !).

“In its current disguise, that isn’t going to pass mustard”.