Business

Belfast software group Kainos to ramp up use of AI with £10m investment

Belfast software group Kainos has pledged to invest £10 million in the advancement and scaling of generative artificial intelligence.
Belfast software group Kainos has pledged to invest £10 million in the advancement and scaling of generative artificial intelligence. Belfast software group Kainos has pledged to invest £10 million in the advancement and scaling of generative artificial intelligence.

BELFAST IT group Kainos has announced plans to invest £10 million in ramping up its use of artificial intelligence (AI) within the organisation.

In the first major announcement under the London-listed tech firm’s incoming chief executive, Russell Sloan, Kainos has pledged to invest in the advancement and scaling of generative artificial intelligence.

Mr Sloan, who heads Kainos’ digital services division, was named as Brendan Mooney’s successor in June.

Mr Mooney, who helped build the digital transformation business into one of the most successful companies to ever emerge from Northern Ireland, will step down in the coming days.

Kainos is now valued at around £1.5 billion, employing more than 3,000 people worldwide.

Its customers range from government departments and health providers to major corporations and financial institutions.

The Belfast-based company is now ramping up its work in the area of AI.

While traditional AI can analyse data, generative AI is capable of creating something entirely new.

Kainos said it will harness the potential of generative AI to foster innovation, elevate client experiences, and drive digital transformation for its clients.

The Belfast software firm already has a well-established data and AI practice, which has grown to 150 people, working across a range of organisations such as the United Nations, the UK’s Ministry of Defence and food delivery group, HelloFresh.

The tech firm said the £10m represents a strategic investment as it seeks to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

The company said: “It will focus on advancing breakthroughs in generative AI understanding, as well as developing cutting-edge solutions, including accelerators, systems, and ecosystem partnerships that address the complex challenges faced by clients.”

Kainos’ plans for the technology will also see around 1,000 staff trained in AI ‘tooling and co-pilots’.

The firm will also appoint a new generative AI lead to head up the growing division and drive initiatives and education across its internal business operations.

Kainos said it will also increase spending in partner organisations that are ‘focused on researching the societal implications of generative AI’.

It expects to collaborate with academia and industry leaders to establish additional AI research centres across the UK to advance ethical and responsible approaches to developing AI solutions.

In a statement, the company said: “Ensuring the ethical use of AI is a key focus for Kainos who established their data ethicist capability in 2022.”

Commenting on the company’s future plans for AI, incoming boss Russell Sloan, said: “We have been at the forefront of AI for almost a decade and today’s announcement represents the next step in the development of our AI capabilities.

“We are investing in the skills of over 1,000 colleagues to ensure that they can harness generative AI for the benefit of our customers.

“At the same time, we are increasing our investment into the funding of academic research institutes including the AI Research Centre (AIRC) at Ulster University, to ensure that the deployment of this exciting technology is undertaken in an ethical and responsible way - for the benefit of everyone.”