The debates around the advancement of artificial intelligence have frequently made the technology headlines for the last several decades, with some of the most challenging hypotheticals concerning potential surges in unemployment due to the predicted higher productivity rates of AI systems in comparison to humans. And as far as Wales is concerned, this issue would prove to be a large area of concern for workers in labour-intensive positions, especially given the recent loss of jobs in sectors such as automotive for example, in which we saw the impactful closure of the Ford Engine Plant in Bridgend nearly 18 months ago.
Listen to our full audio interview with Steph Locke below:
On the other hand, there is also much long-term value in developing artificial intelligence within Wales. This has proved to be particularly evident in the South Wales power-electronics cluster, and Wales’ soaring Fintech sector in both North and South Wales, in which both industries are using some form of small to large scale artificial intelligence within their infrastructure and supply chains. But could the debate eventually turn to the job security within their sectors?
Business News Wales spoke to Steph Locke, the CEO of Nightingale HQ based in Pontypridd, South Wales, who are a leading provider in AI-powered software and help manufacturers integrate these systems into their infrastructures without the need for significant investment or having to acquire extensive research into them. Steph is also a data scientist turned entrepreneur with 15 years of experience across the world in artificial intelligence development, complete with a rare accolade for her work being awarded as Most Valuable Professional in both Data Platforms and Artificial Intelligence from Microsoft.
She began by stating that at the core of their organisation, they believe that artificial intelligence should augment the working practices of employees, rather than replacing them through automation as to safeguard careers. Steph also discussed how the development of AI within Wales should be welcomed as an exciting prospect for the economy, as she believes that businesses within this sector do have the potential to become a so-called ‘unicorn’ (or a high-valued business).