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NatWest takes tech temperature in innovation workplace debate

‘Pepper, I presume?’

Seven Hills co-founder Michael Hayman recently took one giant leap in the firm’s history when he interviewed his first robot – Pepper – on stage at the 2017 NatWest Technology Conference.

Focusing on the intelligent workplace, the event explored the impact of AI, robotics and IoT at work. The event featured a series of live surveys to gauge the mood of the experts and industry leaders in attendance. When asked what was most on their mind at the moment, 56.3% of delegates said ‘Brexit’ while 16.7% went for ‘cyber-attacks’, 14.6% chose ‘data collection and protection’ and 12.5% responded ‘AI.’

More than half of the room (51.4%) said they planned to invest in AI or IoT ‘any day now’.

After speaking with Pepper and NatWest’s FX Market Strategist, Neil Parker, Michael chaired a panel of experts who pitched their business and discussed how to get ahead in a fast-changing world.

The panel was an all-star cast that included: Andy Ellis, head of strategy and innovation, NatWest; Emma McGuigan, group technology officer, Accenture Communications, Media & Technology; Chris Sykes, CEO and head of AI & robotics, Volume; and Terry Walby, CEO, Thoughtonomy.

Writing in the Yorkshire Post this morning Michael made the point that the future is no longer a leap into the unknown – but the reality we live every day. And as AI and robotics continue to transform how we work and play, business need to embrace technology if they want to reap the benefits.

This follows an interviews on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning where Baroness Martha Lane Fox warned of “an annihilation of the world of work as we know it” in the near future.

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