Manchester-based MindTrace has raised £1.3m to create self-learning machines.
The investment came from Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
MindTrace is working to develop novel software algorithms to mimic how the human brain works.
The firm is being run by Professor Michael Denham, Dr Kameliya Dimova and Professor Steve Furber, the University of Manchester academic who created the BBC Microcomputer and the processors for ARM Holdings.
They are also joined by Sir Hossein Yassaie, the ex CEO of Imagination Technologies, who has come on board as the firm’s new chair.
MindTrace says its systems will eventually have a wide range of applications including data management, cybersecurity and self-driving cars.
Michael Dimelow, head of investment at ADV, commented: “MindTrace represents a landmark opportunity to define the artificial intelligence industry through the development of unsupervised learning. Truly unsupervised machine learning has never been achieved and its potential to change society, business and the world is infinite.
“This combined with a team of global sector leaders based in Manchester – the original home of computers – is an extraordinary recipe. We’re really excited to support the company’s growth going forward.”
MindTrace is developing an advanced collision avoidance system, which it says will offer quicker response times, perform better in poor lighting conditions and require less power and bandwidth.
Ashwin Kumaraswamy, investment director at Mercia Fund Managers which manages NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, added: “In MindTrace, we have brought together some of the world’s leading authorities who have transformed the computing and electronics industry and are now set on a new mission – to make machines think like humans.
“This revolutionary new technology will have the potential to solve some of the major real-life challenges society will face in the years ahead, but it will take time to develop and require support at each stage. As investors, we are committed to working with them over the longer term.”
The cash will enable the firm to recruit a research and development team and a CEO. MindTrace will also work to develop a prototype in collaboration with a major car manufacturer and raise Series A to bring its product to market.