fbpx Skip to content

AI for good: These 10 UK startups debunk pseudo controversies related to AI

AI for Good startups in UK

Artificial Intelligence is considered one of the most revolutionary developments in the history of technology. Within a few years, the world has already witnessed the transformative capabilities of this tech. Not to our surprise, AI is already driving several innovations and powering some of the most cutting-edge everyday solutions.

Already, a captivating conversation is taking place about the future of artificial intelligence and what it will/should mean for humanity. There are stirring controversies where the world’s leading experts disagree such as AI’s future impact on the job market; what will happen if human-level AI will be developed, will it lead to an intelligence explosion, and whether we should welcome or fear this advancement. These are just some pseudo-controversies caused by people misunderstanding the capabilities of AI, believe some experts.

Worldwide revenues for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market are forecast to grow 16.4% in 2021 to $327 billion (nearly £235 billion). By 2024, the market is expected to cross the $500 billion (nearly £360 billion) milestone. When it comes to the UK, VC investment in AI companies has rocketed $3.4 billion in 2020. Many companies in the UK are poised to play a key role in the booming AI market. Some of these AI companies in the UK are working to help a good cause. Here, UKTN has listed ten such AI for good companies that might debunk the myths and controversies.

causaLens
Image credits: causaLens

causaLens

Founder/s: Darko Matovski

Founded year: 2016

Funding: NA

London-based causaLens is a pioneering deep-tech company that predicts and optimises the global economy. In September 2020, the company released the world’s first causal Artificial Intelligence enterprise platform called Causal AI. With this platform, businesses no longer have to rely on curve-fitting machine learning platforms that are unable to handle the complexity of today’s world. They are invited to join the real AI revolution with a platform that understands cause and effect.

Causal AI, a new generation of intelligent machines that finally understand ’cause and effect’, a major step towards true AI. It adapts three times quicker to new market conditions than current machine learning technology. causaLens has partnered with the Safe4Play project, funded by the EU Erasmus+ Programme.

Speechmatics
Image credits: Speechmatics

Speechmatics

Founder/s: Tony Robinson

Founded year: 2009

Funding: £10.1M

Cambridge deep-learning company Speechmatics is a global expert in automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology. Businesses use Speechmatics around the world to accurately understand and transcribe human-level speech into text regardless of demographic, pitch, accent, dialect or country.

One of the biggest challenges for automatic speech recognition (ASR) solutions is being able to understand every voice, demographic, pitch, accent, dialect or country. Using neural networks with the latest developments from academia and industry, Speechmatics has developed cloud-based and real-time speech-recognition technology – in many languages. The technology can be used anywhere, by anyone, in any language.

In 2019, Speechmatics secured €7.5 million (nearly £6.4 million) in Series A funding led by Albion VC along with IQ Capital and several angel investors.

Mind Foundry
Image credits: Mind Foundry

Mind Foundry

Founder/s: Stephen Roberts, Michael Osborne

Founded year: 2016

Funding: £13.7M

Based out of Oxford, Mind Foundry develops AI solutions that help organisations in the public and private sectors tackle real-world problems. It is dedicated to producing transparent AI solutions that allow for explainability and the removal of bias. Mind Foundry’s platform has been used to solve some of the most challenging applications of Machine Learning and AI. Also, it empowers teams to make the ethical decisions they care about and transform society for the better.

In November 2020, Mind Foundry bagged $13.6 million (nearly £10.4 million) in a Series A round led by Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd (ANDI) of the MS&AD Insurance Group. Other existing investors include Parkwalk Advisors, Oxford Sciences Innovation, the University of Oxford, and the Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund. The investment will be used to bring humans and AI together to solve real-world problems.

Edgify
Image credits: Edgify

Edgify

Founder/s: Ofri Ben-Porat, Nadav Israel

Founded year: 2015

Funding: £14.4M

One of the biggest problems AI has in the health sector is the fact that its throttled back due to the personal nature of the data. Though it can be used to save lives, there are huge risks and costs with patient data going outside of the hospital’s control and into a data centre to train an AI not owned by the hospital.

London-based Edgify specialises in using ‘edge devices’ rather than the cloud to train deep learning models acrpss industries. By using an edge device for the analysis and training of information it reduces the risks, costs and time associated with transferring sensitive-data to or from an external server. This allows businesses to train on the entirety of their data, and reach accuracy levels never achieved before.

It is coupled with a federated learning framework that these devices can continuously learn from one another so there’s no decrease in the accuracy and detection capability of the AI model. With its devices, hospitals and AI companies can still enjoy the benefits of AI without the data itself while allowing patients to be the only ones holding their own personal data. In October 2020, Edgify picked up $6.5 million (nearly £4.6 million) seed funding led by Octopus Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners and a semiconductor giant.

Recycleye
Image credits: Recycleye

Recycleye

Founder/s: Victor Dewulf

Founded year: 2019

Funding: £1.2M

London-based Recycleye has built a computer vision system, which is capable of detecting and classifying all items in waste streams – broken down by material, object and even brand. The company sorts recyclable waste manually, a process that is currently dull, dirty, and dangerous. Eventually, Recycleye’s technology removes the need for manual waste pickers. The company owns a library of 2 million trained waste images and counting, the largest data set in the world.

Already, Recycleye has secured paid pilots with two out of the three largest waste management players in the UK. The company has already deployed multiple systems on the French market, ahead of plans to expand to wider Europe this year.

In December last year, Recycleye raised £1.2 million in seed funding, led by venture capital investors MMC Ventures and Playfair Capital, with participation from leading funds Atypical Ventures, Creator Fund, and eolos GmbH. The fund will be used to develop a computer vision system and affordable robotics, that will combine to create the world’s first fully automated, and deployable material recovery facility.

Inspection²
Image credits: Inspection²

Inspection²

Founder/s: James Harison, Adrian Karl

Founded year: 2019

Funding: NA

According to the Spanish Ornithology Society (SEO), electrocution is the most common cause of death of golden and Bonelli’s eagles, both of which are endangered species. Transmission and distribution lines pose huge threats to both predator and migratory birds. London-based Inspection² is working with a utility client to leverage AI to target pylons that contain nests, helping safeguard birds and prevent power outages for their customers.

It provides AI-powered asset management, data analytics, and reporting software that automates industrial inspection. Their software analyses and reports on some of the world’s most critical industrial assets and infrastructure, from bridges, electrical transmission towers and oil & gas production facilities to pipelines, tank terminals, substations, and telecom towers. The software transforms large volumes of industrial inspection data into actionable information, improving asset utilisation and safety.

1715 Labs
Image credits: 1715 Labs

1715 Labs

Founder/s: Chris Lintott, Sophie Hackford

Founded year: 2018

Funding: NA

Access to high-quality, well structured training data is the single biggest factor limiting AI performance, which prevents people from solving problems. Combining human input and advanced statistical tools, 1715 Labs, an Oxford University spin-out provides rapid and cost-effective data training, labelling and analysis.

Built by data scientists, for data scientists, they make it simple to build datasets and extract better data, thereby providing data labelling solutions to help companies train algorithms. Their data labelling platform allows AI to reach its full potential by structuring the data so that it can be effectively and efficiently analysed.

Nozzle.ai
Image credits: Nozzle.ai

Nozzle.ai

Founder/s: Victor Malachard

Founded year: 2018

Funding: £2M

Using the data sets available through Amazon’s API ecosystem, London-based Nozzle.ai provides companies with operational efficiencies, deep insights, and delivers continuous media to spend optimisation and sales performance across Amazon’s entire ad tech stack. This helps sellers and retailers drive market share and profitability on Amazon.

Spun out from University College London, Nozzle.ai is an e-commerce and advertising optimisation platform for Amazon. The platform was designed by data scientists and Amazon experts to help brands maximise sales and share category and advertising performance on the e-commerce platform.

In November 2020, Nozzle.ai raised £2 million funding from Parkwalk Advisors, The Angel CoFund (ACF), UCL Technology Fund (UCLTF), and a syndicate of eCommerce-expert angel investors. The company intends to use the funds to expand the team across all business functions and further develop its product offering (advertising audit, customer analytics and advertising bid management) accelerating adoption among sellers, brands and their agencies.

Machine Discovery
Image credits: Machine Discovery

Machine Discovery

Founder/s: Muhammad Firmansyah Kasim, Sam Vinko

Founded year: 2019

Funding: NA

By commercialising new machine learning technology, Machine Discovery leverages proprietary neural network technology to accelerate expensive calculations and does it with minimal data and 99.9% fidelity.

Machine Discovery is an Oxford University spinout delivering a platform for optimisation, advanced statistical inference, and massive acceleration of computational simulations. The company leverages neural networks technology to replicate and accelerate simulations, thereby obtaining results many orders of magnitude faster than conventional simulation tools.

In March this year, Machine Discovery received six-digit funding from Foresight Group and Williams Advanced Engineering. The investment will be used to support the senior management team in taking Machine Discovery through its next stage of growth, assisted by Foresight Williams’ expertise in the sector.

iKVA
Image credits: iKVA

iKVA (Kvasir Analytics)

CEO: Jon Horden

Founded year: 2017

Funding: £3M

iKVA, a Cambrige Univeristy spinout can index very unstructured data from both internal and external sources and across multiple languages including documents, chat and video and bring all this information together in one place. Their knowledge management solutions help provide the right information to the right people at the right time.

iKVA (formerly known as Kvasir Analytics) is an AI knowledge management software company that was founded on research from Cambridge University’s Computer Lab, with many of the prime researchers coming together to form the iKVA team.

In April, iKVA secured £1.5 million in seed funding from Cambridge Enterprise, Crowdcube, and other institutional investors. The funds will be used to roll out its unique artificial intelligence technology and create new jobs.

Topics