Thursday 27 October 2016

Artificial intelligence answering work-related questions made available in UK

Published 01/07/2016 | 00:06

Starmind software that can understand and answer work-related questions (Starmind International AG/PA)
Starmind software that can understand and answer work-related questions (Starmind International AG/PA)

Artificial intelligence that can understand and answer any work-related question it is asked has been made available in the UK for the first time.

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The computer software, called Starmind, uses machine learning to understand queries, then source answers from previous staff conversations on a subject or track down experts within the company who are able to help.

Its creators refer to it as "brain technology", adding its aim is to become a central knowledge bank within any company, an instant database of information that can be accessed by anyone.

Starmind co-founder Pascal Kaufmann said of the technology: "Thousands of human brains connected can outsmart any machine today.

"But if you can find ways for humans and AI (artificial intelligence) inspired technologies to autonomously collaborate rather than focusing on ways for them to compete, you can bring out the best in both."

The algorithm within the system, which was developed in Switzerland, becomes more powerful the more it is used and is able to build a map of the people in a business and the areas in which all of them are experts, or are able to provide relevant information.

"Starmind acts like an artificial hyper brain that seamlessly exists at the core of a company," Mr Kaufmann added.

"The algorithm is then fuelled by the know-how stored inside the brains of everyone that engages with the system."

Several major companies in Europe, including UBS and Bayer are already using the system.

A new version of the software - called Starmind NOW - has also been launched which enables the software to be accessed outside of company intranet for the first time.

Starmind says this makes the technology more "intuitive and seamless" to use.

Former Microsoft executive Peter Waser has also joined the company as CEO.

"It's a new technology that has never been available on the market in this form," he said.

"Brain technology is the latest technology in the megatrend of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

"The combination of current and documented knowledge, which can be accessed at any time, is unique."

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