Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Nationwide invests in behavioural AI startup Scaled Insights

Nationwide Building Society announced on Monday it will invest in Scaled Insights, a company that uses behavioural artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse people’s speech.

As part of this investment, Scaled Insights which is currently based in Canada will move its headquarters to the Nexus building in Leeds, a facility used to house start-ups owned by Leeds University.

The investment is part of a £50 million fund called The FinTech fund, designed by Nationwide to create partnerships where the Society and the start-ups share expertise and knowledge.

“We’re very excited to have Nationwide join us as both an Investor and Partner”, said Stuart Sherman, CEO at Scaled Insights. “We believe that the next steps in ‘one to one’ communications will rely on computer systems understanding humans as individuals, and tailoring messaging and offers towards each person’s unique needs.”

Scaled Insights will contribute to the Society with its AI system able to analyse people’s speech in order to communicate with them in the language they find more accessible.

The system can analyse over 130 different variables in a person’s speech patterns, rating each pattern between one and a hundred. The AI then generates an impression of each persons’ personality traits to understand what motivates them the most.  

“Digital innovation is changing financial services and other industries at a rapid pace,” said Tony Prestedge, Deputy Chief Executive at Nationwide Building Society, “but consumers still demand tailored service rather than a one size fits all mentality.

“In future, this technology could help us understand and better serve our members, which will allow us to talk to them in language that is appropriate to them all while maintaining the human service that our members expect from us for more complex discussions”, he explained.

The NHS is already using this technology to treat obesity, as an approach that would potentially work for one patient may not be effective for another.

The program can learn from these accomplishments to support doctors in finding the best treatment for patients by analysing a patient’s specific language patterns and seeing what approach worked for previous patients with a similar pattern.

“As we apply our AI to new challenges”, Sherman said, “we are proud to have a partner that is as concerned about the ethical use of our technology as we are; focused on improving peoples’ health and finances, while ensuring that the global trend towards larger organisational sizes doesn’t result in these larger organisations overlooking the humans they were created to serve.”

Photo via emudria on Pixabay.

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