AI Will Take Away Lots Of Jobs in UK

The scale of the challenge that automation poses to the jobs market needs to be met with much stronger action to upskill the workforce, finds a new report published by a committee in the UK Parliament.

The House of Lords’ select committee on artificial intelligence raised concerns at the “inertia” that is slowing down the country when it comes to digital skills, and urged the government to take steps to make sure that people have the opportunity to reskill and retrain, to be able to adapt to the changing labor market that AI is bringing about.

Citing research carried out by Microsoft, the committee stressed that only 17% of UK employees say that they have been part of reskilling efforts, which sits well below the global average of 38%.

Microsoft also recently reported that almost 70% of business leaders in the UK believe that their organization currently has a digital skills gap, and that two-thirds of employees feel that they do not have the appropriate digital skills to fulfil new and emerging roles in their industry.Even basic digital skills are lacking: a recent Lloyds Bank survey found that 19% of individuals in the UK couldn’t complete tasks such as using a web browser.

For the past three years, the government has been offering a national retraining scheme, which aims to upskill UK citizens, partly as a result of automation. Wendy Hall, a professor of computer science at the University of Southampton, who provided evidence to the Lords for the report, said that the UK is currently “nowhere near ready” when it comes to building up the skills that are necessary to mitigate the impact of automation on jobs.

Meanwhile, found the report, AI systems are growing at a fast pace. While in 2015, the UK saw £245 million ($326 million) invested in AI, that number jumped to £1.3 billion ($1.73 billion) in 2019. Automated systems are now prevalent in many industries, ranging from agriculture to healthcare, through to financial services, retail and logistics.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/

How To Dismantle Cancer’s Defences To Boost Immunotherapy

The team conducted experiments on mice with lung and colon cancers, observing how cancer cells can hijack a normal type of cell called a fibroblast, using it as a shield to hide from the lymphocyte attack. In these cases, they become known as cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), and scientists believe they play a pivotal role in preventing immunotherapy from working, with many solid cancers exhibiting a high concentration of these corrupted cells.

Immunotherapy for cancer has been a very exciting development, but still doesn’t work in most patients,” says study author Professor Gareth Thomas. “Our results suggest that in many cases, treatment resistance is caused by CAF, and we think this can be overcome by targeting NOX4. GKT137831 hasn’t yet been tested on cancer patients, but we hope may give immunotherapy drugs a much better chance of fighting cancer cells effectively; this technique could hugely improve the success rate of cancer immunotherapy.”

The team says the next steps are to see if these results can be replicated in humans. The University of Southampton team has also received funding from Cancer Research UK to begin investigating how it might improve immunotherapy treatments for breast cancer patients.

The research was published in the journal Cancer Research.
Source: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/
AND
https://newatlas.com/