Innovate UK seeks help from AI on improving efficiency of its operations

Maria Nikolova

Innovate UK is looking for as many ideas as possible for the application of machine learning to its existing data.

An increasing number of UK institutions and organizations are looking at artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that may help them enhance their work. The latest piece of proof in that respect, somewhat unsurprisingly, comes from Innovate UK, the organization that aims to propel growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation.

Innovate UK, which has committed more than £1.8 billion to innovation since 2007, is inviting applications for funding of projects involving machine learning. The aim of the proposals should be to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Innovate UK’s operational functions. Innovate UK is to invest up to £250,000 in such ideas.

The organization welcomes ideas for the application of machine learning to Innovate UK’s existing data. The areas that may be covered include:

  • assessor allocation – identifying key words from funding applications to allocate appropriate assessors;
  • checking for undeclared resubmissions – searching for resubmitted, duplicate and reassessed funding applications.

The competition opens today – July 24, 2017. The registration deadline is set for September 6, 2017 Midday (12:00pm).

Earlier this month, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has indicated its willingness to use regulatory technology (regtech) and AI solutions in order to improve regulatory compliance. The FCA is examining the possibility of making its Handbook machine-readable and, then, fully machine-executable. This means that machines can interpret and implement the rules directly.

The variety of applications currently examined by the FCA range from the enhanced use of speech-to-text analytics tools within the FCA to solutions allowing better use of social media analytics. The regulator would also utilize AI to detect financial irregularities, according to Nick Cook, Head of Data and Information Operations at the FCA.

AI was one of the areas that dominated in the second cohort of the FCA regulatory sandbox, which allows firms to test innovative products and services in a live environment while making sure that consumers are appropriately protected.

The Bank of England is also welcoming AI solutions as shown by the third round of Proofs of Concept (POCs) completed by its FinTech Accelerator.

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