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6 March, 2017 - 12:51 By Kate Sweeney

In-demand scientist opts for Cambridge AI role

Research-led artificial intelligence company has grown its Cambridge-based team with the appointment of new senior machine learning scientist Dr James Hensman.

Dr Hensman (above), who was most recently a lecturer at the University of Lancaster, has more than 35 published academic journal articles to his name, based on his industry-defining research on Gaussian processes. markets itself as the world’s first enterprise to focus exclusively on autonomous-decision making using AI. 

This approach moves away from the use of limited decision trees for AI, which are based on ‘if X then Y principles’, to focusing on the development of self-learning, autonomous agents. These can be applied to a whole variety of problems from autonomous vehicle control, to non-player characters in video games, to smart city simulations.

In joining, Dr Hensman firmly cements’s position as a leader in AI, offering the “strongest pool of AI talent for autonomous decision making,” according to Hermann Hauser, co-founder of investor Amadeus Capital Partners. believes it is the only company in the world to encompass the following four rare technical capabilities, which combined will define a new era of AI and robotics:-

  • Gaussian processes: the ability for agents to make fast, accurate decisions, based on sparse data
  • Reinforcement learning: the ability for agents to engage in long-term planning, based on their experience and learning
  • Inverse reinforcement learning – the ability to use past data to infer future predictions
  • Multi-agent behaviour – the ability for agents to learn how to interact with humans and other agents

Dr Hensman’s unique expertise in Gaussian processes is in-demand from research institutions and commercial enterprises across the globe, but after a nine-year career in academia, his position at marks his first full-time role in a commercial capacity.

Dr Hensman will be encouraged to continue his academic research while at – and his findings will support the development of world-leading AI technology.

“Until now I’ve had no interest in departing from full-time academia,” said Dr Hensman. “But when I met with the team I knew immediately that this was unlike any other company I’d spoken to before. The skills across the team are unmatched and the buzz around developing something that is truly revolutionary was too exciting an opportunity to turn down.”

Vishal Chatrath, CEO of added: “There are very few people in the world with the unique skills required to create world-leading AI technology and I’m proud to say we have an impressive number of them under one roof here at 

“James’ expertise is invaluable to us and his continuing academic research will further support our work as we create AI.”

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