Collaborating Authors

United Kingdom

Keeping old computers going costs government £2.3bn a year, says report

BBC News

Some government digital services "fail to meet even the minimum cyber-security standards," it adds, and data can not be properly extracted from them, making them "one of the greatest barriers" to civil service innovation.

UK considers blocking Nvidia's $40B acquisition of Arm


Bloomberg reports the UK is considering blocking Nvidia's $40 billion acquisition of Arm over national security concerns. Over 160 billion chips have been made for various devices based on designs from Arm. In recent years, the company has added AI accelerator chips to its lineup for neural network processing. "ARM is an incredible company and it employs some of the greatest engineering minds in the world. But we believe we can make ARM even more incredible and take it to even higher levels. We want to propel it -- and the UK -- to global AI leadership."

Exscientia - Exscientia Builds Automated Laboratories in Oxford to Expand Pipeline


Exscientia today announced the opening of a 21,000 square foot expansion of its facilities at Oxford Science Park, increasing capacity for its technology teams as well as significantly expanding its laboratory-based experimental capabilities in structural biology, biophysics and high-content pharmacology. In parallel, Exscientia is building a new 26,000 square foot robotic laboratory at nearby Milton Park, Oxfordshire focused on the automation of chemistry and biology to accelerate drug discovery. This will take Exscientia towards its goal of drugs designed by AI, made by robot. "Exscientia has grown significantly in 2021, driven by new partnerships with leading pharma and biotech companies, as well as by our in-house drug discovery work. Our pipeline includes more than 25 active research programs across therapeutic areas, with a focus on immunology and oncology," said Dr. David Hallet, Chief Operating Officer of Exscientia.

Sexual assault survivors can get trauma support...through Bumble


In a rare move for the dating app industry, Bumble is partnering with remote trauma support site Bloom to offer complimentary services to users. Bloom provides free online courses by and for survivors of sexual assault and harassment on mental health topics such as creating boundaries and managing anxiety. Chayn, a nonprofit based in the UK, created the project as part of its mission to provide resources and support for survivors of gender-based violence. The service, which will begin later this year, will be available to survivors of assault or abuse who met their abuser on the app. Bumble plans on expanding the program to include people who experienced assault no matter where they met their assailant.

Analysis: Is AI really set to transform the banking industry?


Shameek Kundu, Head of Financial Services at TruEra, looks at whether AI's credibility gap could hold back the banking industry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is widely seen as key to the banking industry's transformation. Industry surveys, including one from the Bank of England, suggest that two in every three financial institutions have adopted AI in some form. In most banks, neither the 2020 budget restrictions nor the failure of some AI systems during COVID-19 appear to have slowed down AI-related recruitment or technology spending. But is the reality of AI adoption in banking living up to the hype?

Make measurable: what Galileo didn't say about the subjectivity of algorithms


Galileo's aphorism "Measure what can be measured, and make measurable what cannot be" echoes through almost every algorithmic system today. But reverberating in these echoes is the reality that the act of'making' something measurable is never purely objective: it is the result of subjective choices. Acknowledging this is key to preventing the harms algorithms can create. It's seemingly intuitive to think of'data' about a thing as a true representation of it. For example, my height is 5'9" and London is the capital city of the United Kingdom -- two data points that reflect reality. But renowned statistician David Spiegelhalter reminds us how data'is almost always an imperfect measure of what we are interested in.' To count all the trees on the planet, he notes, we must first define what counts as a tree. There's more than one way to do that, and not everyone will agree on which way is correct. It's a good reminder: some would say I'm more like 5'8" and a half, depending on how you hold the tape measure, and what of Edinburgh, Wales and Belfast?

Artificial Intelligence Helps Resolve Long-Running Astrophysics Debate on Supermassive Black Holes


An image of Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, made with the Hubble Space Telescope. The bright blue clumps in the spiral arms are sites of recent star formation. Black holes with masses equivalent to millions of suns do put a brake on the birth of new stars, say astronomers. Using machine learning and three state-of-the-art simulations to back up results from a large sky survey, the researchers resolve a 20-year long debate on the formation of stars. Joanna Piotrowska, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, presented the new work on July 20, 2021, at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021).

New AI system predicts energy performance


The AI system can generate an almost instant prediction of building emissions rates (BER) for use in calculating the energy performance of non-domestic buildings. Current methods can take hours to days to produce BERs and are generated by manually inputting hundreds of variables. Dr Georgina Cosma and postgraduate student Kareem Ahmed, of the School of Science, have designed and trained an AI model to predict BER values with 27 inputs with little loss in accuracy. The model has been created with the support of Cundall's head of research and innovation, Edwin Wealend, and trained using data obtained from UK government energy performance assessments. Cosma said the research "is an important first step towards the use of machine learning tools for energy prediction in the UK" and it shows how data can "improve current processes in the construction industry".

South Africa issues world's first patent listing AI as inventor


South Africa has become the first country to award a patent that names an artificial intelligence as its inventor and the AI's owner as the patent's owner. The patent was secured by University of Surrey professor Ryan Abbott and his team, who have been at odds with patent offices around the world for years over the need to recognise artificial intelligences as inventors. Abbott was representing Dr Stephen Thaler, creator of an artificial neural system named Dabus ('device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience'), which Thaler claims is the sole inventor of a food container that improves grip and heat transfer. Abbott and his team have filed patents listing Dabus as the inventor in more than ten jurisdictions since 2018, including in the UK, Europe and the US. The High Court in England and Wales last year sided with the UK Intellectual Property Office in refusing the applications, accepting that while Dabus created the inventions, it cannot be granted a patent on the grounds that it isn't a'natural person'.