If there’s one man in Britain whoo’s convinced that the future is automated, it’s Ed Vaizey. Current digital industries minister in parliament, he’s been pushing for driverless cars to hit the UK for a while now, but most recently he’s been talking about other aspects of our modern world that could do away with all of that manual interaction and makes thing smoother, faster and simpler.
Yesterday he took the stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, where he talked about a bunch of stale topics like corporation tax and some aspects of the financial sector, but where he captured the audience – and our – imagination, is what he said about automated technology.
As well as cars that can drive themselves on British roads, Vaizey wants to see restaurants automated too, without the need for serving staff. The idea would be to have digital menus at the table, where people can order what they want with handy tooltips and up-to-date images – maybe even a camera feed of their food being cooked – of what everything looks like. The order then would be automatically sent to the kitchen.
Vaizey also wants to see more automated drones operating in the UK, though the public might take a bit more convincing on that front, as there is still a measure of fear of Big Brother in the UK, especially with the revelations surrounding GCHQ not being that far behind us and David Cameron’s continued push for a more snooped on Britain.
As well as discussing his vision of an automated future, Mr Vaizey said that the tech industry in the UK was booming and not just in London. “We’ve got tech clusters all the way from Dundee to Brighton,” he said. “Leamington Spa is teaming with gaming tech,” and much more.
Gaming development in the UK has seen some growth in recent months, most likely thanks to the British government finally granting developers the tax breaks that they would have gotten had they taken their business to many other countries around the world. For years music and movie production have received breaks to encourage their development within the UK and now that games have that too, we should see a boom in British development.
Referencing reports that London’s internet wasn’t up to scratch though, especially in its tech-sector, Vaizey said that there were big plans to overhaul British broadband and that he had heard the complains “loud and clear.” While he stressed that improvements to the infrastructure wouldn’t happen in the immediate future, it was certainly something that the government was pushing for and would continue to encourage companies like BT to roll out advanced solutions for high speed fibre optics across the country.