21 Sep 2023
by Mike Anderson

Understanding is key to accepting the benefits of AI

Guest blog from Mike Anderson, Director of Innovative Physics. Part of techUK's #SuperchargeUKTech Week 2023.

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The key to making the UK an Artificial Intelligence (AI) superpower is ensuring the technology can be easily applied as ‘off-the-shelf’ software applications coupled with an understanding of the difference between Intelligent Analytics (IA) and AI - and how both concepts can demonstrably benefit society. 

That is the view of a director of a company that has been involved in the evolution of the sector for many years and whose Isle of Wight-based business is now operating in markets around the world. 

Mike Anderson is a director of Innovative Physics, an award-winning company, which develops cutting-edge technology solutions in the civil nuclear, homeland security and medical sectors and which recently announced new offices in Japan and the USA. 

Mike believes the challenge for Britain is to overcome a growing general negative attitude to AI and for the public and various sectors to embrace it as something that will bring benefits across the board.  These benefits could include safer workplaces, fewer carbon emissions and better work-life balance for all. But Mike believes the ability of the sector to put the power into hands beyond “the men in white coats” is crucial to long-term growth, to make the application of IA and AI available to all as a tool.  And recognising the subtle difference between IA and AI is another nettle that has to be grasped. 

While a lot of people understand what AI means, IA is often touted as AI, where in fact, IA is the gathering of information in a logical sense that is then an input into AI algorithms. AI is the sector Mike mainly deals in, specifically in machine learning and pattern recognition. Mike says: “Pattern recognition leads us to better design and speeds up knowledge acquisition of how things work. Data can be processed more quickly using pattern recognition and Intelligent analytics leads to a tactical advantage. “AI can help people use data gathered in IA to make important tactical decisions and then move onto predictive capability and strategic advantage.” 

One example he gives is with CT scans in hospitals. If a radiographer is to make a safe, informed decision about what they are seeing on a scan then that could typically take 35-40 minutes. With intelligent analytics, that time could come down to 3-4 minutes, and be used to help the radiographer’s decision process – thus supporting the process not replacing it. However, he stressed the need for reliability and security of the decisions. 

Another vital ingredient in the recipe for AI strength in the UK is upskilling people to use AI in their everyday jobs and homes – in essence, to not fear the technology.  Using AI tools to control the temperatures in your home is a good example of what Mike means about it being a force for good rather than evil, in that it will control the user’s bills and ultimately be a step towards limiting global warming. But a bigger example of a sector the UK could lead on is transport infrastructure. Monitoring engineering systems using information from sensors with AI capability could make it easier for operators to identify a failing part earlier and take action proactively rather than reactively, leading to safer travel and less disruption on planes, trains and ships. 

The information could be fed via visual presentation to an engineer who would not need to get up close and personal with the engine to make a decision about repairs and replacement, creating a safer working environment. Mike says: “Ultimately, resistance is due to a lack of understanding and we need to work to change that mindset if the United Kingdom is to emerge as a force in the world of AI.” 

About Innovative Physics 

From a manor house hidden away on the Isle of Wight, Innovative Physics produces high-tech solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. 

In 2022, the company won The Institute of Physics’ Business Innovation Award for the development of neutron detector technology designed and deployed for decommissioning inside the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant primary containment vessels in Japan following the 2011 tsunami. The success of its ventures in Japan has led to an office being set up in the country. 

Innovative Physics has also set up a base in the USA, where its office in Alexandria, Virginia, will aid it in competing in the US market. 

The company has a long history in the use of pattern recognition and AI approaches. Its patented meta pattern recognition approach uses the precepts of pattern recognition applied recursively to the pattern recognition problem to produce optimal solutions. In 2013, it combined its MPR system with emerging deep-learning approaches to produce a cloud-based AI platform for processing real-time data. 

In the field of medical imaging, Innovative Physics solution uses pattern recognition and AI approaches to process thousands of CT images and identify, size, categorise and annotate directly into existing CRO software. 

And in the challenging world of homeland security, Innovative Physics has worked closely with government departments on various projects. With a focus on detection, identification and tracking of hazardous materials, its consultative approach has been employed around airports, harbours and transport hubs. Utilising IP’s proprietary software and image reconstruction techniques in these areas enables faster and more accurate border protection and isolation of potential threats. 

  1. For more information about Innovative Physics visit http://inphys.ai/ and www.inphys-nuclear.com 

  1. Press contact: Gavin Foster [email protected] 

Supercharging Innovation Week 2023

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Mike Anderson

Director, Innovative Physics