Accountants will be replaced by robots by 2024 says ScotSoft speaker

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the tech trends that will have the biggest impact on our lives over the next ten years according to two of the panelists at ScotSoft 2014.

Speaking ahead of the event, which will include a forum on emerging trends, Gareth Williams, CEO of Skyscanner, and Greg Williams, executive editor of WIRED Magazine, highlighted artificial intelligence as the development most likely to radically change the way we live and do business.

“Artificial intelligence is going to have an enormous effect on our economy in the next decade,” says WIRED’s Greg Williams. “We’ve seen the effects of it in the manufacturing industry, and it’s going to start crossing over into some areas of white collar jobs like law and accountancy. We’re going to need to think carefully about how these changes will impact society.”

Artificial intelligence is just one of the emerging trends which will be covered by the high profile speakers at ScotSoft on Thursday 2 October. Organised by ScotlandIS, the trade body for the IT and digital technologies industry, ScotSoft is the premier event in the Scottish digital technology industries calendar. Due to increased demand for tickets, this year’s event will be held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Greg Williams will be taking part in the 10 Big Things Forum alongside Larry Cable, architect and vice president at Oracle, and Chris Bishop, chief research scientist at Microsoft UK. The trio will look beyond the hype to explore everything from wearable technology and frugal innovation to the future of the Internet of Things.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurial heavyweights Gareth Williams (Skyscanner), David Sibbald (Aridhia) and Sherry Coutu (SVC2UK) will share their experiences of building a global tech company.

Offering his top three tips on how a tech industry business owner can futureproof his or her business for the next five years, Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams advises: “Be totally focused on mobile rather than desktop, home in on global opportunities and leverage open source software and tools.”

Coutu, a former CEO and angel investor, will also be involved in the ScotSoft Schools Debate, which gives young people with an interest in computing the opportunity to meet with industry leaders, share their insights and raise their questions and challenges with them.

Polly Purvis, Chief Executive of ScotlandIS, says: “ScotSoft offers an exciting forum for discussion and I am incredibly pleased that it is continuing to grow. The Scottish digital technology industries are thriving and ScotSoft provides a unique opportunity for people working in the sector to come together and think about the biggest issues on our horizon. I am really looking forward to hearing all of the presentations from our keynote speakers.”

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