Britain shines in AI – but let’s nurture it

In 2008, three Cambridge graduates founded an app called Swiftkey, which uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word you write with extreme accuracy. The friends Jon Reynolds, Ben Medlock and Chris Hill-Scott, who later sold his stake in the startup for a bicycle, created an alternative keyboard app used on 300m smartphones which learns users’ typing habits over time. The technology even helps power British physicist Stephen Hawking’s speech system, roughly doubling his speech rate and reducing the errors he makes while typing. In February, American tech giant Microsoft unexpectedly announced it had bought Swiftkey for $250m (£176m). Needless to say, the technology will ultimately be integrated with Microsoft’s own products, to make them smarter and more intuitive. Swiftkey founders Jon Reynolds and Dr Ben Medlock  Credit: CREDIT: PA…


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