The UK is flexing its tech muscles as it continues to nurture double the number of AI startups than what Paris and Berlin do combined
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed our society completely. Brits especially seem to have taken a shine to the new technology. From Amazon Echo boosting retailers’ service offerings and analysing healthcare data to facial recognition software and driverless cars, machine learning is being used to conduct more tasks than ever before. And it’s clear the British capital is playing its part in bringing the technology into people’s homes.
At the launch of the London Tech Week, scheduled from Monday June 11 to Friday June 17 and which will see the British capital welcome tech aficionados from all over the world, the city’s position in Europe was made clear, according to figures released by Cognition X, an AI advice platform, and commissioned by Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.
The research revealed that the city isn’t just home to 80% of the top 50 AI companies in the UK but that it also has made itself worthy of being crowned the AI growth capital of Europe. There are 758 AI firms in London – double that of Paris and Berlin. For instance, the city is home to the likes of Babylon Health, Callsign and Starship Technologies that together with the rest of the AI startups in the city raised a combined total of over £200m in investment in 2017. This represented a jump of over 50% from 2016, with insurance, finance and law highlighted as particularly strong growth sectors.
And London seemingly has the power to keep the title, having been rated as the best location for skills and talent. This is in no small part thanks to the 13 universities in the capital offering AI, machine learning or other related undergrad or postgraduate degrees.
Even in terms of diversity, London seems to be carrying the torch. Looking closer at the startups in the city, the report showed that 43% of have at least one non-UK founder and 32% have at least one founder who are from black, Asian or a minority ethnic backgrounds.
Commenting on these finding, Khan said: “There are few areas of innovation that have the power to define our future economy and society more than artificial intelligence. As Mayor, it is my goal to ensure both that London is at the forefront of developing and capitalising on these new technologies, and that all Londoners can benefit from the opportunities that they create.
“The research describes a city with a rich technology ecosystem, a strong pipeline of AI innovation and an academic and investment base set up for the long term.
He added: “London’s unique global status as a capital of finance, business, government and technology is our standout asset."
While many entrepreneurs and investors may worry about the detrimental consequences of Brexit, this research shows that London is still miles ahead of the competition.