‘Many’ ways to create artificial intelligence. Just ask the UK’s AI businesses

What? We have them. There’s life outside the hype bubble Nothing brings a smile to the face of Sabine Toulson – co-founder in 1995 of Intelligent Financial Systems – faster than the notion that AI and its associated technologies are “something new”. Both Sabine and husband Darren were graduates of UCL’s Artificial Intelligence Lab – alongside other veteran entrepreneurs such as Jason Kingdon, who founded UCL spinout Searchspace, which was famous at the time for the quality of its anti-money laundering software. Searchspace has been using machine learning techniques for years to combat money laundering, employing tools that compared millions of transactions and distinguished between legitimate and fraudulent transactions between buyers and sellers. Like Searchspace, Intelligent Financial Systems (IFS) succeeded early in cracking the difficult US financial software market. Back in 2000, the company won a contract to study and analyse the enormous volumes of data emerging daily from the Chicago Board of Trade. It was an exceptional feat, and not just because the board had given the contract to a non-US company. The episode reflects the very strong US interest – both then and now – in the future of the UK’s AI sector. IFS – the subject of…

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