Artificial intelligence brings its brains and money to London

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Deep in the heart of Imperial College, London, a computer is learning how to play Pac-Man. Like many humans, it struggles to get the hang of the classic 1980s video game at first. With time though, experience helps it decide which manoeuvres will allow it to evade the clutches of a relentless gang of animated ghosts. This is just one of dozens of artificial intelligence (AI) projects slowly transforming the UK into the global hub for a technology that elicits fascination and fear in equal measure. The point of teaching a computer to master Pac-Man is to help it "think" and learn like a human.


Artificial intelligence brings its brains and money to London

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Deep in the heart of Imperial College, London, a computer is learning how to play Pac-Man. Like many humans, it struggles to get the hang of the classic 1980s video game at first. With time though, experience helps it decide which manoeuvres will allow it to evade the clutches of a relentless gang of animated ghosts. This is just one of dozens of artificial intelligence (AI) projects slowly transforming the UK into the global hub for a technology that elicits fascination and fear in equal measure. The point of teaching a computer to master Pac-Man is to help it "think" and learn like a human.


The AI innovators who are blazing a trail into our future

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It's going to be a pivotal year for artificial intelligence (AI). And 2016 began with British AI firms asserting dominance over the sector. In February, Southwark-based predictive keyboard company SwiftKey was purchased by Microsoft for 250 million ( 173m) โ€“ one of the highest exits ever for a UK company. Around a month later, another UK-made smart machine, DeepMind's AlphaGo, trounced professional player Lee Sedol in a five-game match of Go โ€“ an ancient and complicated board game โ€“ in a historic first. Within a few months, AI has stopped being fodder for futurists' conversations and charged headlong into the here and now.


Why the US Is Buying Up So Many UK Artificial Intelligence Companies

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Each are British artificial intelligence and machine learning startups bought by US tech giants--HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple, respectively. Alongside growing VC funding in AI, US tech firms are snapping up British-founded startups, leading to concerns that the UK is losing the best of its artificial intelligence to Silicon Valley just as it becomes a key technology. Simon Walker, partner in corporate technology at law firm Taylor Wessing, said the sale of AI startups to US firms isn't new and doesn't look like it'll stop soon. "It is obviously disappointing that the AI cannot be retained in the UK," he said. "However, top-of-the-market AI, such as that developed by companies such as SwiftKey and DeepMind, requires huge investment and a significant platform for its use and it is only very large tech companies which have the necessary resources and platforms."


Why the US is buying up so many UK artificial intelligence companies

#artificialintelligence

Each are British artificial intelligence and machine learning startups bought by US tech giants--HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple, respectively. Alongside growing VC funding in AI, US tech firms are snapping up British-founded startups, leading to concerns that the UK is losing the best of its artificial intelligence to Silicon Valley just as it becomes a key technology. Simon Walker, partner in corporate technology at law firm Taylor Wessing, said the sale of AI startups to US firms isn't new and doesn't look like it'll stop soon. "It is obviously disappointing that the AI cannot be retained in the UK," he said. "However, top-of-the-market AI, such as that developed by companies such as SwiftKey and DeepMind, requires huge investment and a significant platform for its use and it is only very large tech companies which have the necessary resources and platforms."