A New Company Every Week: Inside the UK’s AI RevolutionMay 17, 2017
The UK’s artificial intelligence sector is booming and the technology is transforming how businesses of all sizes operate.
At the opening of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence in Cambridge last year, Professor Stephen Hawking told the crowd: “Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation. [It will be] either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.”
It is perhaps not coincidental that the centre, which brings together researchers to investigate the implications of AI, has been established in this country. Five of the world’s biggest technology companies have bought UK AI businesses in recent years, including DeepMind, which was acquired by Google for a reported $400m in 2015, SwiftKey (bought by Microsoft for an estimated $250m) and Magic Pony Technology (acquired by Twitter for $150m). Analysis by MMC Ventures shows the number of AI companies founded in the UK doubled in 2014-16, compared with 2011-13. Over the past three years, a new AI company has been launched almost every week.