A Chat with Brian Mullins, CEO at Oxford University Linked AI Solutions Company: Mind Foundry

Founded by world-leading academics at Oxford University, Mind Foundry develops AI solutions that help organisations in the public and private sectors tackle high-stakes problems, focusing on human outcomes and the long-term impact of AI interventions.

The Mind Foundry Platform empowers AI design, testing and deployment and enables stakeholders to manage their AI investment responsibly with a key focus on performance, efficiency and ethical impact.



What do you think makes this company unique?


AI might play a small part in supporting human activity, or it may represent the majority of the decision-making. The difference between these two poles is vast, from each sector, to each company, and even each person operating. In high-stakes scenarios failure is not an option, if we get it wrong it can have serious consequences.

It is vital that end-users, architects, and everyone collaborating with a system can understand how and why an AI’s decisions are made. Without this understanding, it is impossible for individuals to trust the technology or rely upon it to make the right decision.

Many approaches to AI transparency fall short, especially those where explanation capabilities are added as an afterthought once the technology has been built. Mind Foundry considers explainability as a fundamental dimension of performance and integrates this into its models, intentionally avoiding architectures that do not lend themselves to in-depth understanding and exploration. This results in a holistic product optimised for explainability that everyone – regardless of their technical knowledge or expertise – can understand.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?


Mind Foundry has worked on a number of high-stakes projects over the past couple of years, ranging from insurance to government, and defence.

The insurance sector is critical to almost every aspect of the modern economy, and Mind Foundry is increasingly finding traction for AI in high-stakes applications in this space. Mind Foundry’s commitment to developing reliable and interpretable models are important in the insurance sector so that regulators can understand why they work and how they comply with rules meant to prevent companies from either unfairly discriminating against customers or taking on too much risk. They’ve been working closely with Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, part of a group that represents Asia’s largest non-life insurer, to develop innovative AI-powered solutions for:

  • detecting fraud
  • understanding driving behaviour
  • detecting crashes
  • automating claims
  • optimising pricing
  • preventing large loss

In the Defence sector, Mind Foundry recently partnered with Palantir to launch an Edge AI satellite into space. The four major technical capabilities of the project included: 1) Reduce latency and increase decision-making speed, 2) Optimising bandwidth to make AI-driven decisions about which data will be most useful to customers on the ground, 3) A continuous algorithm update to ensure the onboard models and software do not become obsolete, and 4) The ability to swap between third party vendors depending on mission requirements and terrain. This pioneering application of Edge AI in space serves as the foundation for advanced analytics that can inform timely solutions to address critical global priorities, like combating climate change, preventing disasters, and improving emergency response.


What can we hope to see from Mind Foundry in the future?


Mind Foundry continues to grow and tackle the most important problems, alongside its customers in Insurance, Government and Defence & Security.

In December 2022, they launched Aioi R&D Lab – Oxford, a joint venture collaboration with partners Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, and Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe (AND-E), bringing together insights from the insurance sector with applied machine learning expertise from Mind Foundry.

Following the successful collaboration that has already delivered improvements across customer retention, safe driving, fraud detection and automation across the board; the R&D Lab in Oxford expands upon this work to develop real-world solutions to tackle some of the most significant challenges facing societies around the world in the coming decades. This ranges from the impact of increased automation to issues related to the climate crisis and the continued ageing of populations – with a focus on embedding AI into specific applications.