Wyser Ltd awarded Innovate UK grant to accelerate research into more accurate and trustworthy AI

Wyser are pleased to announce that they have been awarded an Innovate UK grant from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) for phase 1 of their feasibility study into accelerating trustworthy AI. The initial grant is for £50,000 with further funding of up to £1.2m to be assessed once phase 1 is complete.

Wyser’s research is around the topic of bias in AI, specifically Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) models and their accuracy across a broad range of accents and dialects, which the public sector and other service organisations need to understand as it will help them provide the best possible support to citizens living throughout the UK.

Examples of bias that exist within the more generic models, include Welsh and Scottish accents as well as dialects and accents from citizens where English isn’t their first language, especially if that language operates a different grammatical sentence structure. Other examples include people with disabilities such as deafness or a speech impediment.

Generative AI and ASRs are only as good as the data they are trained upon. The Wyser research aims to prove that firstly, bias does exist and secondly, by training ASRs for more specific language nuances, outcomes from their use are greatly improved for more UK citizens.

Statement from Wyser

Mark Pearce, CEO of Wyser states: ‘We are really excited to have been awarded this grant. This study supports our mission to provide more accurate and trustworthy AI models that help all UK citizens access the services they need. Our plan is to demonstrate that language bias exists, put forward an approach to training future models that reduce this bias, and as a result, offer better outcomes to more people looking for help and support from public and private sector organisations across the UK.’

Statement from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)

'UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) is pleased to announce the Accelerating Trustworthy AI: Phase 1 feasibility study competition winners as part of the BridgeAI programme, funded through the UKRI Technology Missions, designed to exploit the UK’s global leadership in transformative technologies.

Overall, UKRI is investing £250 million in Technology Missions to enable new and existing capabilities and capacity in artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and engineering biology in the years 2023-2025 and beyond.'

About Wyser

Wyser is passionate about realising the benefits of AI and Digital Transformation. Our focus is on improving productivity and increasing capacity to help organisations in the UK reduce backlogs, enhance data quality and improve customer experience. At the heart of what we offer are a set of bespoke AI models trained on specific data sources. Our technical experts are supported by a team of highly experienced, digital transformation specialists that get right to the heart of the cultural drivers and then technical opportunities for transformation.

Existing clients include Citizens Advice Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Acas and the Motor Ombudsman.