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Stanhope AI, founded by AI experts, secures £2.3M to let machines make human-like decisions in the real world

Stanhope AI team
Picture credits: Stanhope AI

While GenAI models such as ChatGPT are achieving in many sectors, they still regularly make mistakes, which limit their use cases. This is what London-headquartered Stanhope AI aims to resolve with a new AI approach, which teaches machines to make human-like decisions in the real world. 

The startup just raised £2.3 million in seed funding led by the UCL Technology Fund. Creator Fund also participated, along with, MMC Ventures (backed Vitrue Health and BotGuard OÜ), Moonfire Ventures, Rockmount Capital, and leading angel investors.

The investment will be used to further Stanhope AI’s development of its agentic AI models and the practical application of its research. 

Agentic AI: How is it different?

Stanhope AI was founded as a spinout from University College London alongside support from UCL Business, by three neuroscience and AI research experts – Professor Rosalyn Moran, Director Karl Friston, and Dr. Biswa Sengupta. 

By applying neuroscience principles AI and mathematics, Stanhope AI is at the forefront of the new generation of AI technology known as agentic AI. This is very different to the traditional machine learning methods used to train today’s AI systems such as LLMs. Today’s models can only operate within the realms of the training they are given, and can only make best-guess decisions based on the information they have. They can’t learn on the go. They require extreme amounts of processing power and energy to train and run, as well as vast amounts of seen data.  

Stanhope AI’s Active Inference models are autonomous an dconstantly rebuild and refine their predictions. Uncertainty is minimised, which removes the risk of hallucinations about what the AI thinks is true, enabling Stanhope’s model make human-like decision-making. By reducing the size and energy required to run the models and the machines, these models can operate on small devices such as drones. 

Real-world applications of Stanhope AI’s model

Currently, the technology is being tested with delivery drones and autonomous machines used by partners including Germany’s Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation and the Royal Navy. In the long term, the technology holds huge promise in the realms of manufacturing, industrial robotics, and embodied AI.  

Professor Rosalyn Moran, CEO and co-founder of Stanhope AI, said: “Our mission at Stanhope AI is to bridge the gap between neuroscience and artificial intelligence, creating a new generation of AI systems that can think, adapt, and decide like humans. We believe this technology will transform the capabilities of AI and robotics and make them more impactful in real-world scenarios. We trust the math and we’re delighted to have the backing of investors like UCL Technology Fund who deeply understand the science behind this technology and their support will be significant on our journey to revolutionise AI technology.”

David Grimm, Partner UCL Technology Fund, said: “AI startups may be some of the hottest investments right now but few have the calibre and deep scientific and technical know-how as the Stanhope AI team. This is emblematic of their unique approach, combining neuroscience insights with advanced AI, which presents a groundbreaking opportunity to advance the field and address some of the most challenging problems in AI today. We can’t wait to see what this team achieves.” 

Marina Santilli, Associate Director UCL Business, said “The promise offered by Stanhope AI’s approach to Artificial Intelligence is hugely exciting, providing hope for powerful whilst energy-light models. UCLB is delighted to have been able to support the formation of a company built on the decades of fundamental research at UCL led by Professor Friston, developing the Free Energy Principle.” 

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