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Top tech stats: London tops innovation ranking, ransomware attacks on the rise & more

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Welcome to your round up of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to the impact of AI on consumers and businesses, the leading global city for business, ransomware andA dTech and MarTech M&A deals for Q3 2016.

Artificial intelligence

According to a survey by communications and engagement firm Weber Shandwick, 45% of consumers view AI’s societal impact as positive rather than negative (7%).

UK government warns of ‘significant’ ransomware risk for businesses

When it comes to their personal lives, consumers are even more likely to think it will have a positive rather than negative impact (52% vs. 7% respectively).

Some 18% of 2,100 adult consumers surveyed said they know a lot about AI, with 48% saying they know a little, and 34% admitting knowing nothing. The word most commonly associated with AI was found to be ‘robots’, as mentioned by 22% of respondents unprompted.

The second segment of the research found 68% of CMOs report that their company is currently using, selling or planning for business in AI. Some 58% also believe that companies will need to compete in the AI space in order to succeed in the next five years.

Looking into the future, 55% of CMOs expect AI to have a greater impact on marketing and communications than social media ever had.

Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick, commented: “For those of us in the marketing and communications industry working at the intersection of technology and humanity, we know technology disruption brings its challenges but also opportunities to advance change.

“There could not be a better time to more clearly define AI and explain its potential,” she concluded.

Leading global city

London has been named as the world’s leading global city for business, innovation and culture, for the fifth year running, according to a report released by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies.

New York came in second place, followed by Tokyo in third, Paris in fourth and Singapore in fifth.

The report also recognised London as a leading business and innovation hub, as the capital ranked second for the economy and research and development strategies.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, commented: “This research shows that despite the recent vote to leave the EU, London is the best place in the world to do business. From startups to global enterprises across all industries and sectors, the capital offers the ideal environment for businesses to thrive.

“I am working with London’s business community to ensure their needs are met as we leave the EU and that our great city maintains its global position.”

Ransomware

Data by internet security software firm Malwarebytes has revealed the City of London’s top banks, law firms and other big businesses suffered 670% more ransomware attacks than the next nearest area, Manchester.

In fact, the City of London suffered more ransomware attacks than the next 10 highest areas of the UK combined, including Manchester, Birmingham and the London borough of Greenwich.

The data also outlined the top ten pieces of ransomware attacking people in the UK. The most common was found to be File Cryptor, followed by File Locker, Trojan Ransom, TeslaCrypt and Cryptowall.

Nima Samadi, data science analyst at Malwarebytes, said: “Given that only 7000 people live in the City of London, but hundreds of thousands commute there every day, it is not a great leap to assume these attacks involved compromised work systems.

“With over 80m square ft. of office space in just 1.1 miles – that is a hugely tempting target for the bad guys,” he added.

AdTech and MarTech M&As

Figures released by technology M&A advisor Results International revealed a total of 112 AdTech and MarTech M&A deals were announced in Q3 2016.

The disclosed deal value was also the second highest on record, and AdTech deal activity rose 44% quarter-on-quarter. Included in these figures were Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo!’s operating business for $4.8bn, and the $1.4bn majority acquisition of mobile AdTech firm Applovin by Orient Hontai Capital.

Julie Langley, partner at Results International, commented on the figures: “We are encouraged to see the AdTech market gaining investor confidence after the last few tough quarters, and the MarTech market continue to perform strongly.

“With two successful IPOs in the combined space and a number of other potential IPO candidates securing significant late-stage funding in Q3, including Teads, Zeta Interactive and Kaltura, it would seem the IPO market is open for business once again,” she concluded.

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