AI startups to watch: The hottest machine learning startups in the UK

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The year 2017 saw a host of tech giants acquire AI startups, as the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple all spent large sums to bring artificial intelligence startups and their expertise in-house.

Cash was also being splashed across the UK. AI companies raised a record £488 million last year, according to data compiled by funding database PitchBook for London & Partners. That's more than twice what was raised in 2016.

The UK has developed a global reputation for AI thanks in part to four of the biggest AI startup acquisitions of the last five years. That began when Google swept up DeepMind in 2014 for a reported £400 million. Then there was Apple's purchase of natural language processing (NLP) specialists VocalIQ, Microsoft's purchase of machine learning-powered keyboard SwiftKey, and Twitter's acquisition of Entrepreneur First alumni Magic Pony.

This year looks set to follow a similar pattern as AI moves beyond the hype to practical use cases. Here are some of the most interesting startups working in the area of artificial intelligence in the UK today. Could the next DeepMind be lurking among them?

Read next: 11 tech giants investing in artificial intelligence

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