Three emerging forces in UK AI

The UK is among the leading adopters of artificial intelligence technology in Europe. 

From financial services to healthcare to policing, AI is being explored as a way to transform existing processes and ways of working, and to create new products and services. AI-based chat-bots have entered mainstream use in both the consumer and business worlds, and intelligent algorithms underpin everything from the products that we buy from retailers to the way that our pensions are managed. 

AI is of course playing an important role in the fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus. Social media operators are leveraging AI-powered tools to tackle the spread of misinformation. UK start-up Exscienta became the first company to put a AI-designed drug molecule to human trials earlier this year, and academia and other development companies are using AI to better understand the virus and to support the development process.

We have just published our latest overview on the AI landscape in the UK, exploring the key use cases that are emerging across industry sectors, looking at how businesses are engaging with AI platform providers, and mapping the supplier landscape. The AI startup community is reaching an interesting point as a second wave of platform providers enters the fray with a growing focus on supporting industry-specific issues. Here we profile three of the most interesting companies that are starting to make their mark.

GenieAI is one of the leading lights in the UK’s nascent legaltech sector. The company was founded in 2017 and has developed a platform that enables legal teams to significantly speed up the onerous task of writing contracts. The SuperDrafter technology analyses a legal firm’s library of documents to recommend clauses as they develop the contract from a template. SuperDrafter is currently being piloted by the banking law practices of several of the “Magic Circle” firms. The company secured £1.2m in funding in 2019, led by Connect Ventures.

Monolith has developed an AI assistant for engineers. Likening its proposition to “JARVIS” in Marvel’s Iron Man, the company uses machine learning to mine huge volumes of product engineering data in CAD/CAM/CAE systems, and generate insight that can significantly shorten the product test and development process. Founded in 2018, customers include L’Oreal and the company raised £1.9m in May 2019 in a round led by Pentech Ventures with participation from Stanford Angels, Ascension Ventures and Charlie Songhurst.

The company uses a machine learning approach to help construction companies learn from past projects to help them better predict the outcome of future engagements. Working alongside partners such as Arup, Kier and Skanska, the company’s platform analyses millions of schedule tasks, identifies patterns in performance and schedule adherance, to help create a more realistic picture of how a project will pan out. nplan calls its approach “certainty-as-a-service.” The company underwent a round of funding in 2019 led by Pentech and Local Globe with support from involves Founders Collective, EF, Charles Songhurst and Demis Habbabis.


The full report can be found here.