New research projects aim to improve UK's services through tech

New research projects aim to improve UK's services through tech

Three new research projects will investigate how businesses can make best use of artificial intelligence (AI) in insurance and law as well as analysing consumer attitudes to AI, announced on 28 November by Business Secretary Greg Clark.

The projects are backed by £3 million through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – led by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). They will focus on:

  • Technology driven change and next generation insurance value chains will consider how AI can be applied to processes such as underwriting and claims processing, speeding up the process for customers. Working with business, the project will consider how AI technologies can transform delivery of insurance services and save consumers money.
  • Unlocking the potential of AI for law will look how AI can be put to use in legal services and how to unlock its potential for good. The project will bring academics, lawyers, businesses and programmers together to develop the skills, training and codes of practice to deliver these benefits. The team will gather best practices across the world, outline data challenges, identify where and how AI can legitimately resolve disputes
  • Innovating next generation services through collaborative design will consider future uncertainties about the roll-out of new AI technologies in accounting and legal services by using insight, existing studies, developments in AI and service design, as well as analysing the potential barriers to AI-based business model innovation. The project will work with mid-size firms across law and accountancy.

The Next-Generation Services Challenge seeks to take on the biggest industrial and societal challenges of our time. Services account for almost 80% of the UK economy, with financial and professional services alone employing around 2.2 million people and valued at £190 billion.

Stephen Browning, Challenge Director of Next Generation Services, UKRI said:

“AI and Data driven technologies have the potential to transform our services sectors but in order for the UK to derive the biggest benefit, we will need to address not only the technical challenges that application of these technologies requires but also the human behavioural challenges that must be addressed. That is why I’m particularly excited by these three projects that bring multi-disciplinary research to bear, examining business model, behavioural and technical challenges with the use of AI and Data and together addressing Accountancy, Insurance and Legal Services.”

Lord Chancellor, David Gauke said:

“Ensuring our world-leading legal services industry remains the primary choice for international businesses as we prepare to leave the European Union is a priority for this Government.

“Widespread use of Artificial Intelligence is set to transform the £24 billion sector, allowing innovative companies to accurately review contracts at high speed and develop ground-breaking tools that could be used to help predict case outcomes.

“This new funding will foster innovation and increase understanding of AI to strengthen the UK’s reputation as a global centre for legal services and emerging technologies.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

"The UK is the home of AI - from Alan Turing’s pioneering work to today’s growing use of AI throughout the economy. Artificial Intelligence is changing how we work, live and play.

"Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we want to build on our history of innovation to develop and deploy AI to create new opportunities and improve services across the whole economy."

These projects will run for up to three years and commence in December 2018.

Further information

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy press release

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund