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Transforming the UK Services Sector - Join the pioneers

Posted on 05/06/2019

Transforming the UK Services Sector by stimulating the use of Data and AI

A year ago the Next Generation Services challenge was announced as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: A £20 Million investment to transform the accountancy, legal and insurance services sector with the use of Data and Artificial Intelligence. Since then forty projects have been awarded grant funding through the programme to pursue their ambition.


The cohort of successful businesses and academics got together last week to share their progress, discuss common challenges and opportunities for future collaboration. The range of projects is diverse but their mission is the same: make an impact in their field and transform the UK services sector for the better. For example The Floow seeks to enable improved and fairer insurance products and make mobility smarter and safer for all by combining data science and the use of telematics. Transparently is investigating the application of AI techniques to the analysis of conversational data, to augment the role of legal professionals during any discussion, negotiation or dispute resolution.The intention is to remove potential bias and offer greater transparency in legal decision making. FD Works employs artificial intelligence and big data techniques to extract accounting insights, enabling businesses and their financial advisors to evaluate and model future business decisions.

AI for services workshop, May 2018

The full list of projects is impressive and showcases some of the best use cases of Artificial Intelligence and Data solutions in these sectors. But there is a need to go further in order to improve the R&D capability and capacity as a whole in those sectors and maintain the UK leadership position in high value services. Some of the recurring challenges addressed by the cohort last week was the lack of engagement from the larger firms and SMEs in R&D and the difficulty in accessing the right data sets in order to develop the machine learning algorithms.

The next phase of the challenge programme sees the launch of AI For Services,  a UK wide network to bring together professionals and academics working across the high value professional services, building the services of tomorrow. This community of innovators will act as ambassadors in their respective services sectors to transform the industry and support the growth of the AI and Data analytics sector in the UK with the underpinning ambition of putting the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution. A key objective of the network is to act as a vehicle of responsible use of AI through dissemination of best practices and discussions on ethics and social and behavioural science.

The network is unique in bringing together the accountancy, legal, insurance and financial sector professionals and academics to discuss R&D opportunities and find solutions to common challenges. Each of those sectors is at a different stage of adoption of artificial intelligence and data analytics yet the use cases show a high degree of commonality: for example, the use of predictive analytics to improve personalised offer or the reduction of costs through automation of repetitive tasks. Providing a collective space where use cases can be shared and where professionals and innovative solution providers can directly connect will not only benefit each sector individually but also the professional services sector as a whole.

A series of activities including events and workshops will be planned in the next few months, so join now and stay tuned for some exciting opportunities!

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