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United Kingdom

Affordable legal advice for all – from a robot


An academic and a lawyer have teamed up to develop a robot lawyer, which, if successful, will make legal advice affordable to people from all backgrounds, while revolutionising the legal sector. Robots could take on significant parts of a lawyer's work, reducing the costs and barriers to access to legal services for everyone, rather than just those who can afford the high costs. The project, at the University of Bradford, is initially working on a machine learning-based application to provide immigration-related legal advice, but if successful, it could be replicated across the legal sector. The idea has received government backing in the form of a £170,000 grant from Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Legal firm AY&J Solicitors is providing a further £70,000 as well as the vital knowledge of lawyers.

Using AI and Machine Learning to Predict and Avoid Risks – BMC Software


You've heard the saying "time is money"? Well nothing is closer to the truth than when looking at the impacts of unplanned downtime on your mainframe budget, business initiatives and a potentially negative experience for your customers. A 2019 Forrester survey of 100 US IT groups found that the average cost of a minute of an unplanned "outage" was $9,108. Simple math would result in almost $1.4 Million lost if an enterprise experienced ten outages throughout the year at 15 min each. This doesn't even factor in operational resilience fines levied to banks from the UK-based Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the inability to maintain the safety and soundness of their infrastructure and, by extension, their customer's data, and funds.

Regulating artificial intelligence: Where are we now? Where are we heading?


That the regulation of Artificial intelligence is a hot topic is hardly surprising. AI is being adopted at speed, news reports frequently appear about high-profile AI decision-making, and the sheer volume of guidance and regulatory proposals for interested parties to digest can seem challenging. What can we expect in terms of future regulation? And what might compliance with "ethical" AI entail? High-level ethical AI principles were made by the OECD, EU and G20 in 2019.

Spy agencies have high hopes for AI


WHEN IT comes to using artificial intelligence (AI), intelligence agencies have been at it longer than most. In the cold war America's National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) explored early AI to help transcribe and translate the enormous volumes of Soviet phone-intercepts they began hoovering up in the 1960s and 1970s. Your browser does not support the audio element. Yet the technology was immature. One former European intelligence officer says his service did not use automatic transcription or translation in Afghanistan in the 2000s, relying on native speakers instead.

Trustworthy AI data governance around Covid-19 could help unlock innovation


A major CDEI poll has found that the public believe digital technology has a role to play in tackling the pandemic, but that its potential is not yet being fully realised. Public support for greater use of digital technology depends on trust in how it is governed. According to the poll, the single biggest predictor for supporting greater use of digital technology was an individual believing that'the right rules and regulations are in place'. This was deemed more important than demographic factors such as age. Trend analysis of the use of AI and data-driven technologies in the same period has revealed that conventional data analysis has been more widely used in the Covid-19 response than AI.

Apps, drone deliveries and AI: How technology stepped up its game to fight COVID-19


For the past few months, an independent board of technology experts has been closely tracking the new ways that AI and data have been used to counter and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK; and now, they are lifting the veil on the good, the bad and the ugly of the past year in digital tech. The Center for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has released a new report diving deep into the 118 individual use-cases for AI and data-driven technologies that have been added to the organization's COVID-19 repository since last November. Spanning vastly different sectors and locations, the examples collated in the document provide a unique vision of the ways that technology can help in a time of crisis. From piloting drones to delivering medical supplies, to monitoring the behavior of residents in public transport during the easing of lockdown restrictions: if there is one observation that all experts will agree on, it is certainly that technology has been a central pillar in the support of the response to the pandemic. "While public attention largely centred on high-profile applications aimed at either suppressing the virus or coping with its effects, our research highlights the breadth of applications beyond these two use-cases," says the report.

New 'AI Festival' unveils impressive line-up of inspiring speakers


Supported by a host of East Anglian based businesses and universities, this virtual event is exploring the possibilities for applied'Artificial Intelligence' Facebook, Google, and BT are just some of the leading technology companies set to share their knowledge and insights at the newly launched AI Festival, on 24 and 25 February 2021. Created by Suffolk based Orbital Global and BT, this virtual event is a unique initiative that will explore the implications for business, skills, and employment in relation to what could be the defining technology of the 21st Century. Taking place online at and accessible globally, the ticketed, two-day event brings together a range of sector specialists to share their experiences and forecasts for the future in a series of inspirational keynote talks, workshops, 'fireside chats', and technology demonstrations. This includes former NASA scientist, Peter Scott, who worked for the space agency's famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory, speaking about the future of AI and technology, Professor Paul Hunter from University of East Anglia will share what the pandemic tells us about future AI and digital based approaches to health, and Daniela Rus from MIT will provide an overview of AI robotic automation and the opportunities this offers the average business. The line-up includes many other world leading representatives from organisations such as PwC, Silicon Valley Bank, Alan Turing Institute, MIT, IQ Capital, Innovate UK, Orbital Global, VirtTuri, Wilkin and Sons Tiptree, University of Essex, and University of Suffolk.

Grip assist robotic glove powered by AI


Scottish startup BioLiberty has developed an AI-driven robotic glove designed to assist people with simple gripping tasks. Set up by four recent engineering grads, BioLiberty is aiming to help the 2.5 million people living in the UK who suffer from hand weakness because of age or illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and carpal tunnel syndrome. The company's robotic glove detects a user's intention to grip by using electromyography (EMG) to measure electrical activity in response to a nerve's stimulation of the muscle. An algorithm then converts that intention into force, helping the user hold an item or apply the necessary pressure to complete an activity. BioLiberty co-founder Ross O'Hanlon was motivated to start the company when his aunt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and began to lose movement in her hands.

Machine Learning Technique Could Aid Mental Health Diagnoses: Study


London, February 9: Researchers have developed a new Machine Learning (ML) technique to more accurately identify patients with a mix of psychotic and depressive symptoms. While patients with depression as a primary illness are more likely to be diagnosed accurately, patients with depression and psychosis rarely experience symptoms of purely one or the other illness. Those with psychosis with depression have symptoms which most frequently tend towards the depression dimension. Historically, this has meant that mental health clinicians give a diagnosis of a'primary' illness, but with secondary symptoms. "The majority of patients have comorbidities, so people with psychosis also have depressive symptoms and vice versa," said lead author Paris Alexandros Lalousis from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Amazon UK's first checkout-free Fresh grocery store opens in London


Amazon has opened its first checkout-free store outside of the US, a Fresh store powered by the "Just Walk Out" tech used in US Go stores. The shop, located in the West London borough of Ealing, offers Brits the same automated shopping experience that has been available to the US public since 2018. Instead of paying at manned or self-service checkouts, AI-powered sensors track the items you pluck from shelves and put in your basket and charges are automatically applied to your card at exit via the Amazon Go app. "Our Amazon Fresh store in Ealing is the size of your typical convenience food store, which is roughly 2,500 square feet in the front of house," Amazon wrote in a FAQ. "We're excited to bring this concept to the UK and look forward to opening additional stores in the Greater London area."