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New York

British artificial intelligence firm BenevolentAI is opening an office in New York as part of its plans to expand to the US.

The London-based company, which has to date raised $100m (£77m), has hired former Google researcher Keith Hall to lead its new New York base.

Founded in 2013, BenevolentAI is leveraging AI in an attempt to boost global scientific R&D.

Its proprietary tech, the Judgement Augmented Cognition System (JACS) uses deep learning technology to create new, usable knowledge from complex scientific information. The firm is currently focused on targeting disease areas including neurodegeneration and rare cancers.

Ken Mulvany, founder and chairman of BenevolentAI, spoke about the expansion : “The opening of a New York office demonstrates our commitment to expanding as a global company and underlines the importance of having a footprint in the US with the access to talent, innovation, and commercial opportunities that being connected to one of the world’s centres of technology provides.”

The news comes after BenevolentAI signed a partnership with LifeArc (formerly MRC Technology), a medical charity which seeks to bridge the gap between research and patient diagnostics.

As a result of the two-year agreement, which was announced last April, both parties will work together to share confidential molecular disease targets and  develop them into potential new drugs.