London, 19th July 2023
The Future Fox, a leading UK, female-founded technology SME, has been awarded funding by Innovate UK to develop an innovative new digital tool that summarises complex planning policies and development proposals into plain, easy-to-understand language.
By creating personalised summaries of lengthy planning documents and development plans, the new tool aims to revolutionise public engagement in the built environment sector. It will increase comprehension of complex proposals, enhance transparency, and enable more informed decision-making during planning.
The tool uses cutting-edge Generative AI to transform dense planning jargon and technical specifications into accessible summaries tailored to each user. The tool's privacy features ensure trustworthiness by protecting user data.
The advance has been funded under Innovate UK's BridgeAI programme, which aims to exploit the UK's leadership in transformative technologies like AI to solve real-world problems.
By increasing engagement and understanding of complex ideas and policies, this innovative tool will bridge knowledge gaps, enhance decision-making, and empower people to participate more meaningfully on issues affecting them.
The Future Fox are already working to save clients weeks to months of time through automating manual processes of analysing community feedback using proven and novel machine learning techniques.
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Chloe Smith Said:
“Despite our size as a small island nation, the UK is a technology powerhouse. Last year, the UK became just the third country in the world to have a tech sector valued at $1 trillion. It is the biggest in Europe by some distance and behind only the US and China globally.
The technology landscape, though, is constantly evolving, and we need a tech ecosystem which can respond to those shifting sands, harness its opportunities, and address emerging challenges. The measures unveiled today will do exactly that.
We’re investing in our AI talent pipeline with a £54 million package to develop trustworthy and secure artificial intelligence, and putting our best foot forward as a global leader in tech both now, and in the years to come.”
Annette Jezierska, The Future Fox’s founder and CEO, said:
“We’re thrilled to advance our early work on adopting generative AI.We’ll be able to equip more individuals to engage effectively with the pivotal and complex issues impacting their lives. Whether you are time-poor, or are neurodiverse, we are working on a game-changer for creating a more inclusive, private and secure engagement experience.It’s essential that we work fast to use it to deliver tangible benefits to clients and communities, in a responsible and trustworthy way.”
About The Future Fox
The Future Fox is a UK, female-founded social impact technology SME on a mission to accelerate the development of smart, sustainable and people-focused places. Their software-as-a-service, PlaceBuilder, is an inclusive digital community engagement platform for governments and planners to get more responses to consultations, understand their communities better than ever before, and take forward decisions with confidence.
The Future Fox team are pioneering an approach that uses generative AI to summarise community feedback data in local planning consultations, a move which could save local planning authorities significant amounts of time, driving up productivity. Building upon its established success in the sector with their software PlaceBuilder,and their fast rollout of generative AI, the team are seeking to extend their reach and impact with this advance. PlaceBuilder, an inclusive digital community engagement platform, is widely utilised by major clients, including HM Government, the Scottish Government, Bolsover District Council, and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council on projects from a few thousand to over 3m people.
The Future Fox are a key PropTech supplier regularly featured by the UK Government's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)’s PropTech Engagement Fund, and are currently working with several local planning authorities under the fund. One of the projects has already committed to launch the early version of the new tool.
UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) said:
“UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) is pleased to announce the Accelerating Trustworthy AI: Phase 1 feasibility study competition winners as part of the BridgeAI programme, funded through the UKRI Technology Missions, designed to exploit the UK’s global leadership in transformative technologies to help solve specific problems, whilst also helping cement that leading position. Overall, UKRI is investing £250 million in Technology Missions to enable new and existing capabilities and capacity in artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and engineering biology in the years 2023-2025 and beyond
42 projects are currently working to accelerate the adoption of trusted and responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies by reducing bottlenecks during development and deployment of such technologies and making important steps to the realisation of the potential of AI.”
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is creating a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations. We provide targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. Join our network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth.
We've launched a quick survey to better understand your preferences, needs, and concerns about this kind of technology. It will only take a few minutes of your time, and your feedback will play a pivotal role in shaping this pioneering product for the sector. If you'd like to take part in this survey, click the button below.