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Tech will be the certain winner at these elections

July 23, 2024 by Alistair Enser

It is going to be a big week here in the UK, with the general election on Thursday. This isn’t the place to get into party politics, but it’s clear that the country could be in for a significant change in leadership if the polling is correct. I expect the election results and what they mean for the country will be the subject of another blog in due course.

Vote for safety

After a week when protestors broke into Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s house, it’s clear that the febrile atmosphere around this general election demonstrates why we must have effective law enforcement and a responsive and innovative security industry to support it.

Police were on the scene in seconds when protestors broke into the Prime Minister’s North Yorkshire home, and it is reassuring to see that security measures are in place to keep senior politicians safe. The upturn in hate speech and physical attacks that many MPs – both from the left and right – have had to contend with over recent years is unacceptable in a democracy like ours.

I wonder if the atmosphere that we find ourselves in is a reaction to the massive technological, social and geopolitical changes that are transforming the world we live in. And, regardless of whether we see a massive change of government in the UK this week or not, that transformation is only set to accelerate.

An ‘X’ in the box for AI

I have been saying for a long time that the arrival of AI will change our lives and, if used in the right way, will be a force multiplier allowing us to achieve so much more. I have argued that this is important given the demographic squeeze where working age populations are decreasing dramatically all over the developed world.

Many countries around the world are in a similar place: elections have just taken place in India; France follows suit this week and the all-important US elections are in November. Whatever political changes these and other elections bring about, one thing is clearly visible through the fog of uncertainty.

Technology will continue to be called on to boost productivity and improve the quality of life for millions of people, whether through the development of revolutionary medicines, the emergence of viable carbon capture and storage solutions, or freeing up workers to achieve so much more alongside robots.

Tech, the unifier

At a time when politics is so polarised, one issue that seemingly all politicians agree on is the vital role of technology as the world faces up to these and other challenges.

For Keir Starmer, “Britain can harness the potential of new technology” and “must use technology to overhaul every aspect of delivery” in its ailing public health system. Rishi Sunak’s faith in technology is well-known, and he hosted the first AI summit last year.

In the USA, the Biden administration has not only introduced regulations to drive the development of AI, green tech and battery development but, in recognition of the strategic value of this intellectual property, recently restricted Chinese investment in and access to this technology. Trump might go further to protect the USA’s leadership in technology.

So, as you cast your vote this week, consider that whatever the outcome, technology will be the winner. And it will be up to us, as well as politicians, to put it to work.