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Advanced AI set to transform the manufacturing processes

24 November 2021

A new supercharged form of machine learning is set to transform the process of visual inspections in manufacturing which will improve efficiency and safety.

Somerset-based artificial intelligence (AI) company, Machine Intelligence, has developed a machine learning technique which efficiently identifies defects as products are created. 

The technique will improve the quality of products and reduce waste which has the potential to save industry millions. 

The innovation has been made possible through a unique collaboration with BAE Systems, after Machine Intelligence was selected as a finalist of Digital Catapult’s Made Smarter Technology Accelerator Programme to develop an MVP for their scalable AI for visual inspection challenge.

BAE Systems and MI were brought together on konfer – a free-to-use online tool developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB). 

Run by Digital Catapult, in partnership with tech sponsors Verizon Business and Software AG and funded by UKRI, the programme gives industry challenge owners the chance to bring in start-up expertise to fuel innovation, boost productivity and accelerate the fourth industrial revolution using advanced digital technologies.

Dr Simon Harding, Company Director, Machine Intelligence said: “Visual inspection is one of the most common and obvious checks in manufacturing, but humans get tired, make mistakes and are expensive. Numerous automated solutions already exist, but they are complicated to use and operate as a black box. Machine Intelligence has been developing a technology that works in a completely different way, using our own bio-inspired AI toolkit to make a unique computer solution. Our system bridges the gap between humans writing software and machine learning. What once could have been engineered by a person can now be discovered by a machine.” 

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive Officer at NCUB, said: “The collaboration between BAE systems and Machine Intelligence, facilitated through konfer, shows there is real enthusiasm around leveraging the skills and technology that exist outside the world of tech giants and multi-nationals. Finding these collaborations is key to continued innovation and the UK’s economic growth, and konfer exists for precisely this reason.”

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