Investment boost for Newcastle artificial intelligence company

A high tech Newcastle firm has received investment to help develop its technology

Michael Dickens of Rivers Capital Partners, Rob Clennell of Generic A.I. Applications and Imogen Holland of Ward Hadaway.

A cutting-edge hi-tech company has secured investment to help it develop its artificial intelligence technology.

Generic AI Applications, 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 and Generic AI has now 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, which has worked with the fund managers on a wide range of investments.

The money 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 recognise 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 AI 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.

She 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.”

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