Next generation services challenge

Robot and businessman shaking hands in cityscape

This challenge supports the development of the next generation of knowledge services, built upon the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI), coupled with increasing levels of data and digitisation, to the benefit of the UK.

Services such as legal, accounting and insurance account for almost 80% of the UK economy. Financial and professional services alone are worth £190 billion and employ 2.2 million people.

Technologies such as AI and data analytics can help the sector to become more efficient, productive and globally competitive.

The next generation services challenge has invested £20 million in projects that:

  • explore how these technologies could transform the UK accountancy, insurance and legal industries
  • develop responsible data access or sharing methods
  • investigate behavioural and socio-technical barriers to adoption of artificial intelligence and data technologies.

Sign up for the AI for Services Network

The majority of funding for this challenge has been awarded, but you can still get involved by joining KTN’s AI for Services Network where you can participate in events, connect with collaborators and learn more about the insights and results from ongoing projects.

The network brings together data and artificial intelligence businesses and academics who work in the legal, accountancy, insurance and finance fields, to discuss R&D opportunities and find solutions to common challenges.

Funded and announced projects

Investments so far have included the following.

Research into behavioural barriers

A research programme focusing on the potential behavioural and socio-technical barriers to use of AI and data technologies in accountancy, insurance and legal services, and how to resolve these.

Three research projects are investigating how service industries can make use of AI in accountancy, insurance and law, and analysing consumer attitudes to AI. The projects include:

Data access projects

Four projects have been funded to develop responsible data access or sharing methods in accountancy, insurance or legal services sectors. They will also look at business models to embed these methods in business practice.

Read more about the ‘enabling data access in accountancy, insurance and legal services’ projects.

Collaborative research and development

Projects under this theme are exploring the use of AI and data technologies in accountancy, insurance and legal services.

Large consortia-funded projects

Four larger projects received funding to address sector-wide challenges that require a coordinated approach, such as across supply chains and regulators. The projects are:

  • Enabling rapid adoption of AI through an anonymised data protocol and explainable model: Genie AI is working with Barclays PLC, Oxford University and other partners to improve the ‘explainability’ of AI and boost AI uptake
  • Pozibot: Altelium is working with Brill Power, Delta Motorsport, Lancaster University and Quantum Base to develop a next generation warranty system for the battery industry
  • The development of an AI recommender system for advisory service provision at scale: Fluidly, Baldwins Holdings and The Sage Group are exploring the opportunities that new technology and data insight could bring to the accountancy industry
  • Automation and transparency across financial and legal services: Intelligent Voice, Strenuus and the University of East London are developing an AI software for the insurance industry that can detect and interpret emotion in a person’s voice.

Small consortia-funded projects

We have funded a consortium of smaller projects applying AI and data techniques in new ways within accountancy, insurance and legal services. Examples include:

  • distriBind: using AI to speed up the process of transferring data across the insurance value chain and eliminate errors
  • Thirdfort: building an AI-driven algorithm to help property lawyers detect fraudulent transactions
  • Recap: creating a simple method of tracking and reporting cryptocurrency finances for accountants, consumers and businesses.

See a full overview of challenge projects (PDF, 286 KB)

Watch the video: Engine B: helping businesses get into Big Data
Video credit: UKRI
On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript is available on YouTube.

Last updated: 26 October 2021

NOTE Council web content is being transitioned to this website – let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.