Mark SayManaging EditorThursday 16 February 2017

Commission highlights digital in infrastructure study

Government adviser calls for evidence on potential of AI and the IoT for new technology research

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has thrown an emphasis onto digital technology in calling for evidence to shape its new technology study.

The NIC, which acts as the Government’s advisory body on long term issues affecting the national infrastructure, said the evidence will contribute to its recommendations for any relevant action.

It is looking to focus on the technologies that are likely to have the most influence over a 10-30 year time horizon, and has highlighted the potential of artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things and sensing.

It has posed a number of questions dealing with how far a technology has advanced, what evidence exists of any benefits, what are the likely costs of its introduction and what barriers are in the way.

Lord Andrew AdonisLord Adonis (pictured), chair of the NIC, said: “From big data to the internet of things, and artificial intelligence to digitalisation, new technologies are reshaping our infrastructure and our country. If the UK is to succeed in the global economy of the future, we have to ensure that we are harnessing innovative new technologies to maximum effect.

“This study will explore which new technologies have the most potential for improving the way we manage our infrastructure. So through this call for evidence we want to hear views from across industry, politics and the public, from infrastructure specialists to developers of new technologies.

“This work is timely and vital - if we don’t position ourselves at the forefront of technological innovation, our competitors will.”

The call for evidence is open until 15 March.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0