Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.
£1.2 Billion UK Fraud
According to a recent report from UK Finance, people in the UK lost £1.2bn to fraud in 2022. Approximately three million scams took place, which was slightly less than the previous year, and payment card fraud was the most common. Fraud has now become the most widespread crime in the UK, with one in 15 people falling victim to it. Although losses were not always reimbursed, banks voluntarily refunded 59% of the £485.2m stolen through reported scams.
UK Finance urged tech companies to share the burden of covering costs, and the UK government has pledged to get tougher on scams as part of a national strategy. David Postings, the CEO of UK Finance, highlighted that narcotics gangs, overseas criminal groups and state-sponsored bad actors were responsible for most of the fraud. He called on tech companies to contribute more to reimbursing lost funds, given that many of the most common frauds originate online.
Dyson Chooses Bristol
Dyson, the British engineering company famed for its state-of-the-art products, has announced that it will invest £100m in a new research and development centre in Bristol. The new technology centre will be home to software and artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and will focus on developing sensors, apps and connectivity in appliances that will launch up to a decade in the future.
The company has selected Bristol because it is an international hub for software and digital skills. The city has about 28,000 specialist tech workers and the industry is worth £1.7bn to the regional economy. Jake Dyson, the company’s chief engineer, said the centre will transform how the company supports customers and continuously assesses its machines’ performance. When up and running, the centre will create hundreds of new jobs in the city.
IBM Replacing Humans
IBM is considering a hiring freeze for some of its non-customer-facing positions where the work has the potential to be completed by automated artificial intelligence (AI). In a recent interview with Bloomberg, CEO Arvind Krishna stated that the company expects to see thousands of jobs being replaced by automation in the coming years, meaning that around 7,800 non-customer-facing positions could be replaced by AI. This is around 30% of the 26,000 employees currently occupying these roles at IBM.
The company has already implemented AI within its back-office functions, including in the human resources department. By automating formerly manual processes in HR-related work, IBM says it has reduced workforce stress and improved efficiency.
Despite a 23.3% decrease in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK tech sector in 2022, the country remains an appealing destination for FDI, according to EY’s annual Attractiveness Survey. The survey found that the UK ranked as the second most attractive investment country in Europe despite FDI declining from 305 in 2021 to 234 in 2022. Britain’s share of overall European FDI in tech projects also fell to 19.8% from 29.2% in 2021. Brexit’s impact on the UK economy and sluggish economic conditions were cited as the main reasons for the drop in FDI.
The dip in foreign investment comes at a time when the UK’s tech sector has also experienced a decline in venture capital investment due to the economic slowdown. In the first quarter of 2023, UK firms raised £2.9 billion, the lowest amount in a single quarter since 2020, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse survey. This figure is also significantly down from the record £12.3 billion raised in Q1 2022.
Hot in the Kitchen
Enjay, a Swedish start-up based in Malmö, has developed a heat exchange system that recovers energy from kitchen exhausts and uses it to heat other areas within a building. The system, called Lepido, has saved the Burger King franchise in Malmö’s Bulltofta around £13,000 per year in heating bills. The technology has since been deployed in Burger King branches across Denmark, Sweden and Norway, as well as in school and hotel kitchens across the Scandinavian and the Benelux regions. An average-sized restaurant using Lepido can slash its heating costs by up to 90% per year and reduce its carbon emissions by 30 tonnes.
Despite its £24,000 cost, Enjay is experiencing a growth in demand from restaurateurs from other parts of Europe, Canada and the US. Trials have recently started in several UK locations, including branches of the Caribbean restaurant chain, Turtle Bay.
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