Robots to outnumber humans within 20 years, Brits predict

Healthcare, automotive and fashion industries predicted to be hit most by technological innovation, survey reveals

Robots will soon outnumber human beings and 3D printers will be used to create human organs, according to a survey of over 2,000 British adults.

The next two decades will see technology radically impact healthcare and automotive industries, according to SMG Insight and YouGov research commissioned by London & Partners, with GP consultations available through virtual reality or driverless cars replacing traditional vehicles.

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The research was inspired by predictions made by Imperial College London's Tech Foresight research team ahead of London Tech Week, an event celebrating innovation with the UK's capital city.

"London's technologists, scientists, medics and entrepreneurs are creating the future," said professor David Gann, vice president innovation at Imperial College London. "No city in the world enjoys London's quotient of talent, technology culture and capital. It is a potent combination.

"London is an environment where ideas flourish, design and innovation is embraced and new technologies are transforming our lives for the better. In London, we don't stand still."

Half of those surveyed predicted the world's first cloned human to be born by 2036, with fashion also picked out as an industry that will be significantly changed by technology in the next 20 years.

Other predictions include the first artificial intelligence machine serving on the board of a big company (23 per cent), avatar girlfriends and boyfriends being commonplace (19 per cent) and communications devices being embedded inside the human body (37 per cent).

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Tech-savvy Londoners welcome new digital advances that are going to revolutionise the way that we live and it is crucial that we harness those ideas to help the capital work even better as a city. As someone who has helped to run a successful business, I look forward to supporting the tech sector so it goes from strength to strength over the coming years."

Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and chair of Tech City UK, added: "We are already seeing technology disrupting traditional industries, but in years to come we will no longer be talking about the digital tech sector in isolation. Technology and digital will be integrated into every part of the economy."

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