Investment boost for artificial intelligence company
22nd May 2014
A CUTTING edge hi-tech company has secured an investment boost to help it develop its artificial intelligence technology.
Generic A.I. Applications has secured a £27,000 investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund, managed by Rivers Capital Partners, who were advised on the investment by law firm Ward Hadaway.
Generic AI, which is based in Newcastle, has been developing technology which aims to create an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) system that can handle a wide range of different tasks.
Most artificial intelligence systems currently in use only work in relatively narrow applications and require pre-programming for different specific tasks.
Generic AI’s system works more like the human brain, finding patterns and features automatically within the information which is fed into it.
As a result, it is potentially much more flexible, has a wider range of different applications and is much harder to crack. Skype founder Jaan Tallinn has already expressed an interest in the technology.
The investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund will be used to help finance a pilot project to test out the Generic AI system and to help expand the company’s core team.
Generic AI founder Rob Clennell said: “It is fantastic to secure this investment and demonstrates that investors like Rivers Capital Partners recognize the potential of AGI and our technology.
“The potential applications for AGI are almost limitless, from face recognition and fingerprint analysis to crowd behaviour analysis and financial analysis.
“The technology is still in the development stage, but the potential value is already recognized by some of the biggest companies in the world – for example, Google spent £400m earlier this year on an AGI start-up company.
“We are one of only a handful of companies actively developing this technology and it is terrific to get North East backing for what is potentially a major North East success story.”
Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Rivers Capital Partners, said: “Artificial intelligence is widely seen as the next major development in the technology world and it has the potential to transform a vast range of applications.
“Rob and Generic A.I. Applications have been working on Artificial General Intelligence for a number of years and the company is at an exciting stage in its development.
“Hopefully this investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund will enable that development to continue and to help towards Generic AI’s aim to have the world’s most used Artificial General Intelligence system.”
Imogen Holland, Corporate Finance Partner at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team providing legal advice to Rivers Capital Partners on the investment.
Imogen said: “We were delighted to assist Rivers Capital Partners on this Finance for Business North East Angel Fund investment in what is potentially ground-breaking technology.
“Generic AI’s work is really at the cutting edge and has applications in so many different fields.”
Ward Hadaway has previously advised Rivers Capital Partners on a wide range of investments, including over 20 investments from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund last year alone.
Companies which received backing included a social network for motorcyclists, an explosives manufacturer and a flavoured coffee bean producer.
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