Last Friday I went to the Wall Street Journal's excellent TechCafe, which set up stall (so to speak) in The Bookclub, Shoreditch for three days of free talks, panels and inspiration from the tech industry's leading figures.
Friday was Government day and Ben Hammersley, the Prime Minister's Ambassador to TechCity, talked about the future of technology (he has recently written a book, "64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then"). In a wide-ranging interview Ben talked about the impossibility of shutting down the Internet, the new Digital Government and the benefits (or otherwise) of Modafinil.
The theme that struck me most was his views on Moore's Law and that in the future much of the 'skilled' white-collar jobs will be automated by algorithms in the same way that the blue-collar jobs have been. No one welds cars by hand anymore as that can be put in a flowchart and automated by algorithm and Ben's point was that the same will be done for white-collar job - just see what Watson is doing for IBM. For example Watson can diagnose patients within 50% accuracy of Doctors. With Moore's Law it's not difficult to see that the accuracy of Watson will increase and surpass many Doctors diagnosis in not many years at all.
All this lead to Ben saying that it's the 'black-collar' workers, as he put it, who will win through. These are the creative types - the people who can conjure up the technology, solutions and products in ways that simply can't be reproduced by a flow-chart and therefore algorithm. This is Collider12 is looking for - we want technology that will scale but we want the creative solutions that mean the people, the team, are the differentiator and the reason you will also win.