Innovation Talks- The Dynamics of Disruption and the Next Best Thing (16th Feb 2017)

Adrian Zorzut, Junior Associate in Research at Swann’s London office, recently attended Innovation Talks series, hosted by Australian Business in Europe. The conference theme centered on The Dynamics of Disruption and the Next Best Thing, with focus on the emerging presence of AI and its impact in conducting business.

Tom Upchurch, Head of Wired Consulting, introduced the crowd to the evolution of technology as ‘chaotic’; the advancement of technology based on deliberate, consumer-led disruption of business norms to create greater transparency and efficiency. Tom suggests the technologies with AI characteristics, better known as “Deep Learning”, have become ubiquitous. Tom points to Google and Siri as the forefront of AI’s capability to recognize and interact with human activity.

Most importantly, technology is beset to disrupt the employment market. Tom mentions, in referring to an Oxford study on job susceptibility to computerization that roughly 47% of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing. Tom highlights this phenomena as a direct threat to ‘cognitive jobs’. Interestingly, he suggests that employers are seeking new desired employee skill-sets, with a focus on STEM and computer science degrees to lead the automation revolution. He points to a greater investment on attracting talent with Science Science-related disciplines as already having full sway, highlighting Goldman Sachs CFO R. Martin Chavez Computer Science degree background as a fruition.

Jo White, Global Communications Director at TransferWise, spoke of the pragmatic nature of technological advances to challenge the status quo. TransferWise is a currency conversion firm that employs a unique business model to actively exclude international banking transfers from its transactions. TransferWise was inspired by two Estonian expats living in London who were fed-up with hidden transfer charges imposed by banks.

Australian Business UK is the only organisation in the United Kingdom that brings together professionals and companies who have Australian interests and connections through business networking opportunities and events.

With over 300 corporate and individual members, Australian Business helps strengthen business links between Australia and the UK, and further members’ interests, in the UK and beyond.

Other Attendees/Speakers:
•   Tom Upchurch, Head of Wired Consulting
•   Jo White, Global Communications Director, TransferWise
•   Catherine Woo, CEO, Australian Business, Australian-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce

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