AI ignites London Tech Week 2024

Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: DIGITIMES Asia

London Tech Week 2024 has officially been kickstarted with AI taking center stage.

The 11th iteration of the expo held from June 10th -12 is expected to receive over 45,000 attendees from 146 countries at the exhibition venue Olympia. Regarding AI as the expo's main theme, Mayor Sadiq Khan says the unique strengths of London's technology and talent position the capital city as the most important center for AI businesses globally.

"AI will add US$4.4 billion a year to global GDP. The AI industry will outstrip the UK economy by a trillion dollars within six years" says Nicola Hodson, IBM's chief executive for the UK and Ireland during a keynote.

London: center for AI and unicorns

Beyond OpenAI and Microsoft setting up AI hubs, London has recently seen the US-based software giant Salesforce establishing an AI center as part of the company's US$3 billion AI investment into the UK, expected to generate over 500,000 AI-related jobs for the country.

This followed training data firm Scale AI's recent selection of London as its European headquarters which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remarked as "another vote of confidence in the UK's economy and status as a science superpower".

UK's tech sector valued at US$1 trillion, also has the most unicorns (start-ups valued over US$1 billion) in Europe numbering at 160. 103 of them are based in London according to the latest data in the report "Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2024."

Programmed events

Over 5,000 start-ups and 350 speakers are participating in the 3-day expo, with over 70 events programmed.

The expo is split into three zones: the Start-up Zone, focusing on emerging companies and their approaches to funding and scaling; the Enterprise Zone, showcasing corporate innovation and technology adoption; and the Leaders Gallery, offering networking for tech leaders.

In addition, there are also five stages for various keynotes and talks: the Main Stage for industry insights and technology's impact; the Founders Stage for start-up advice; the Pitch Stage for new entrepreneurs; the Corporate Innovation Stage for digital transformation discussions; and the Centre Stage for exploring future industry innovations.

The event's first day has already seen high-profile tech leaders from companies such as Google DeepMind, IBM, Microsoft UK, Mastercard, Monzo, and Natwest giving keynote speeches regarding AI. Other tech sectors such as quantum technology, semiconductors, engineering biology, and future telecommunications singled out by the UK government as critical technologies under the Science & Technology Framework will also be addressed during the expo.