Barriers: scaling UK machine learning companies

Marko Balabanovic is Chief Technology Officer at Digital Catapult Marko Balabanovic, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Catapult, writes about the barriers facing machine learning companies, particularly when they are looking to scale.  Machine learning techniques, within the field of Artificial Intelligence, are becoming increasingly effective and important for data innovators. The major challenges facing fast-growing organisations have been well documented in the Scale-Up Report, and include recruiting skilled employees, building leadership capability, accessing customer and finance, and navigating infrastructure. However, for companies whose products and services use machine learning, we see two more specific barriers: access to skilled machine learning specialists, and access to large pools of data with which to train their algorithms. Both are exacerbated by the dominant position of the “GAFA” major internet companies (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), who are rapidly acquiring large machine learning…

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