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5 December 2017

UA illuminates Lum.AI

University of Arizona has spun out Lum.AI to commercialise an automated system for extracting relevant information from research papers and journals.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Tech Launch Arizona, the tech transfer arm of University of Arizona, spun out US-based artificial intelligence technology developer Lum.AI last week.

Lum.AI is exploiting research by Mihai Surdeanu, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Science, Gustave Hahn-Powell in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Marco Antonio Valenzuela-Escárcega.

The spinout has developed software to automatically extract relevant information from research papers and journals by analysing linguistic correlations and dependencies.

The approach is expected to have an impact on sectors such as biomedicine, where millions of papers and journals published each year make it impossible for researchers to keep track of discoveries that might help advance their own work.

Lum.AI has received an undisclosed sum from the US government-owned Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and philanthropic organisation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The company hopes to use the cash to expand to new markets, having already entered the agricultural industry, and countries.

Surdeanu said: “We were faced with the problem of developing a holistic understanding of the field of signalling pathway fragments involved in cancer from biomedical research. We needed an automated system to extract that information from the millions of papers and journals published each year.

“We are a diverse team. This is beneficial because it will help us scale our technology to other countries and languages. With huge markets in Latin-speaking countries, we plan on scaling to Portuguese and Spanish speaking regions.”

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