Report to explore impact of automation on UK research

Demos and Jisc will explore how automation will change the way universities conduct studies

A new report on the impact of robotics on the research sector is being produced by Demos, the cross-party think tank.

Supported by Jisc, the not-for-profit organisation that provides digital support to the UK education and research sectors, the report will forecast how technologies will revolutionise projects in the Research 4.0 era.

The report – Research 4.0: Research in the age of automation – will consider the transformative effect of artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning on the future of the sector’s economic and labour market modelling.

The Demos report will give us a glimpse of how Research 4.0 might look and how we can best support our members to future proof their work.
– Matthew Dovey, Jisc

The Demos report will also consider how research can be conducted in an ethical and socially responsible manner. The Information Commissioner’s Office is working with Jisc to develop a new code of practice to help universities use student data ethically.


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Matthew Dovey, Jisc’s head of e-infrastructure strategy, said: “Rapidly advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, internet of things and augmented reality shift the way we interact with the world and have the potential to radically reform the research lifecycle.

“The Demos report will give us a glimpse of how Research 4.0 might look and how we can best support our members to future proof their work.”

The report is due to be presented at the Conservative Party conference in the autumn.