TV firm teams up with Edinburgh uni for AI tech drive

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A Fife-based pay-TV technology firm has announced a partnership with a specialist centre at the University of Edinburgh to drive artificial intelligence (AI) developments.

TV subscription and customer relationship management company Paywizard is teaming up with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) to start a project it hopes will lead to the incorporation of new AI-driven features in its next generation subscriber intelligence platform.

Paywizard, which counts broadcasters such as BT, ITV and Film Four among its clients, will use the data it has gained from supporting more than 100 subscription and pay-per-view based TV businesses as it aims to create more advanced predictive models to drive AI features. These could include models to optimise the customer experience by suggesting relevant upgrades or pre-empting when a customer may cancel a service to alert the service provider.

The partnership’s initial project will see a team of EPCC data scientists working alongside Paywizard’s internal business intelligence department to deliver the enhanced functionalities. Paywizard is also looking to expand its internal team with University of Edinburgh graduates.

Bhavesh Vaghela, Paywizard’s chief executive, said: “There are many operators that are just at the beginning of their analytics journey.

“They understand that harnessing subscriber data can provide real valuable insight into their customers, but don’t have the expertise or the adequate infrastructure to deploy business models that can utilise this data effectively.

“Working with the talented and specialist data team at Edinburgh means we are able to develop our existing AI capabilities even further than ever before, and more importantly, means we can kick-start an operator’s approach to harnessing this customer data, allowing them to derive valuable and actionable insights from the get-go.”

Rob Baxter, group manager at EPCC, said: “EPCC has a long history of working with companies to enable them to benefit from advances in digital technology.

“Through the practical application of data science, our collaboration with Paywizard will result in better services for its customers and so directly increase the company’s competitive edge.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow-based technology company Hypervine has embarked on a similar partnership with a team at Edinburgh Napier University.

Following a series of construction industry upsets highlighting the need for stronger audit trails, the collaboration aims to develop “blockchain solutions” to data recording problems which can jeopardise complex projects.

The new Blockpass Identity Lab at the university’s Merchiston campus will investigate the way in which blockchain technology can incorporate security into processes, build compliance and boost productivity.

Ruth Oliver, business engagement executive at Interface, which facilitated the collaboration, said: “Partnerships with academia can propel companies onto the next stage of their development, enabling them to enter new markets, win additional business and grow their business.”