06 Mar, 2019· read

Manchester Innovation

Manchester, for all it’s grey skies is actually a place of many new dawns – a regular home of revolution, evolution and innovation. For example, the revolution of canals, railways, atomic theory, women’s right to vote and Graphene all have roots in Manchester.

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More readily linked to Manchester is the invention of modern computing. In 1947, Freddie Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill began work on a machine to test an early form of computer memory. This was the world's first working, electronic stored-program electronic computer and was nicknamed The Baby. On the 21st June 1948 The Baby successfully ran its first computer program.

It was actually prior to this that the idea that would lead to the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence were sparked - also in Manchester. From 1936 Alan Turing was exploring the concept of a universal computing machine capable of completing complex mathematical problems and in 1950, Turing developed an experiment to define the standard for a machine to be considered intelligent – the Turing Test.

The Turing Test was the first major consideration in artificial intelligence but following this progress has been bumpy. Periods of great advancement have been followed by periods of collapse, the AI winters, where hype has gone too far leading to a loss of confidence and funding.

For the past 20 years though, AI has been gradually picking up pace again – supported by the availability of large amounts of data, faster computers and recognition of the benefit to solve simple problems. The latest trend in the field of AI is the use of software robots to automate activities previously thought to need human delivery – intelligent automation

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On the 12th March, Manchester once again will be the venue for this latest uprising - The Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Industry Showcase. This will be the first industry focused event designed to accelerate the adoption of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence technologies to boost UK productivity and economic growth.

The showcase will be packed full of exhibitors and presentations on how AI is transforming industry in many new and innovative ways.

XR will be there demonstrating how our software robots are helping organisations in manufacturing, insurance, banking and government intelligently automate business activities and processes using AI skills in problem solving, optimisation, human to robot collaboration and learning. 

Come and see us and we’ll tell you all about the latest revolution coming out of Manchester.

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