Artificial intelligence to assess flood damage

A project to develop an analysis tool which looks at images collected by drones to assess flood-damaged areas, using a 3D image recognition system, is one of a string of AI projects to share in £13m of government funding.

The project will evaluate flood extent and depth alongside impacts on buildings and infrastructure to help with insurance claim assessments.

The project is one of 40 backed by government investment to support collaborative industry and research projects to develop the next-generation of professional services

Other initiatives include:

  • An online “bot” which will use artificial intelligence to provide quick answers to legal questions.
  • Artificial intelligence software that will analyse accounting data and suggest ways for businesses to cut expenditure, suggesting new deals on gas, water and electricity bills.
  • Artificial intelligence technology for the anti-fraud sector to enable the UK accountancy, insurance and legal services industries to transform how they operate.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “Artificial intelligence and data are transforming industries across the world. We are combining our unique heritage in AI with our world-beating professional services to put the UK at the forefront of these cutting-edge technologies and their application. 

“We want to ensure businesses and consumers benefit from the application of AI – from providing quicker access to legal advice for customers, to tackling fraudulent insurance claims, these projects illustrate our modern Industrial Strategy in action. We’re investing record levels in research and development so that every part of the UK can benefit from the industries and high-skilled jobs of the future.”

The projects announced back innovation in the accountancy, insurance and legal services and are part of the Next Generation Services Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. This is a £20m fund, administered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to support the development and adoption of AI and data technologies that will transform the UK’s services industries.

UK Research and Innovation chief executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “The service industry around the world is being transformed by information technology. The Next Generation Services Challenge offers important opportunities for transformation of the legal, insurance and accountancy sectors across the UK.

“Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund we are building on UK expertise in artificial intelligence and data science to deliver benefits that will be felt in the services sector and beyond.”

The government’s modern Industrial Strategy commits to placing the UK at the forefront of the sectors and technologies of the future. The research and development projects will begin work from this month and could see initiatives rolled out in the industries by 2020/21.

Image: Siarhei Yurchanka/

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