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How to stay safe and prosper in an uncertain world

May 20, 2024 by Alistair Enser

A couple of weeks ago, I ran a poll on the back of an article about AI. I asked readers if they thought AI presented a threat to humanity, and 1 in 2 (50%) said they did. Some 43% disagreed, and 7% did not know. The results are interesting because, while not overwhelming in their criticism of AI, it is clear that many are uncertain about what it may bring.

Which is a concern, because as I wrote previously, AI might present a solution to many of the pressing challenges we face, challenges that are only becoming more acute as the year progresses. All roads seem to be offering up a bumpy ride at the moment: from inflation rates that remain stubbornly high, to interest rates getting higher and higher, there are now fears that, in trying to bring the cost of living down, the Bank of England may instead cause a recession.

Without being the voice of doom, it’s tough out there. And while at Reliance High-Tech and Reliance Protect, we continue to see strong customer demand, several recent bankruptcies, including the long-established logistics company Tuffnells, suggest that some firms are operating on paper-thin margins.

Another indicator of hardship is the news last week from the Association of Convenience Stores that more Britons are turning to crime as the cost of living crisis drags on, with the theft of high-value items such as meat, alcohol and confectionery from shops last year at a decade high. Apparently, more than 1.1mn incidents of theft were recorded in 2022, up from 970,000 the year before.

We have certainly seen massive demand for body-worn video cameras among our retail customers, and are finding that people are adopting body-worn video to gather evidence but also for health and safety, as it acts as a deterrent as well as evidence capture.

Indeed, I remain convinced that technology provides a means of addressing many if not all of the challenges we face and if I return to the subject of AI once again, while it may not be popular with everyone, the reality is if we can use analytics to improve productivity, reduce costs, automate certain tasks and improve safety, it will help firms meet those rising costs. And that’s got to be a good thing.