Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hopes the U.K. will play a leading role as the worldwide artificial intelligence boom continues. Mr. Sunak this week unveiled plans for a global summit on AI safety to be held later this year at Bletchley Park, the site in Milton Keynes where mathematician Alan Turing broke Nazi Germany’s Enigma code. The Prime Minister has in recent days also unveiled a £100 million ($126 million) commitment to backing U.K. companies trying to compete in the market to produce the chips required to power AI computers.
Such government support will be warmly welcomed by the U.K.’s nascent AI industry, but even without such backing, there are a growing number of British companies moving quickly to capture AI opportunities. The Government puts the value of the AI market in the U.K. at around £17 billion ($21 billion) today, but thinks this could increase to more than £800 billion ($1 trillion) by 2035. It points to a remarkable 688% increase in the number of U.K. companies pursuing AI technologies of one kind or another over the last decade.
Many of these businesses are small-scale, entrepreneurial ventures, often with roots in academia. Here are five exciting U.K. AI companies to look out for in 2024.
Launched out of the University of Cambridge in 2008, Featurespace is a leader in adaptive behavioral analytics, primarily focusing on fraud detection and risk management. The company’s ARIC platform is renowned for its ability to identify anomalies in individual data behaviors, which enables it to offer real-time fraud detection. This technology, trusted by top global financial institutions and payment providers, is hugely in demand in the face of increasing online fraud threats.
Based in Manchester, Peak AI is carving out a niche for itself by working with businesses that are keen to use AI to harness the power of data. The company’s Decision Intelligence platform offers promises to help enterprises help themselves to optimize revenues and boost operational efficiencies. The goal is to democratize access to advanced analytics and machine learning in a rapidly emerging AI-as-a-service space.
BenevolentAI became a poster child for the U.K.’s AI industry. The company operates at the intersection of AI and life sciences, offering technology that helps accelerate the development of medicines and treatments for patients. The company’s success reflects its ability to use AI to deep dive into biomedical information, extracting insights that lead to innovative treatments. It’s a high-impact activity that promises life-altering health advances at a global level.
Bristol-based Graphcore is changing the way that people think about hardware and AI. The company has developed a unique processor designed specifically for AI tasks, which it has christened the Intelligence Processing Unit. Rather than relying on traditional hardware, Graphcore’s IPU and its associated software offer faster and more efficient solutions for AI computations. As the demand for AI tech grows, Graphcore’s advances position it as a top player in the field.
Hailing from Oxford, Oxa is at the forefront of developing universal autonomous vehicle software. With applications ranging from airports to urban settings, the company’s versatile software can power a wide range of vehicles. Oxa’s mission is to work towards a future where vehicles are more capable, safer and efficient – its work so far makes it a global leader in AI-driven mobility solutions.