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AI in Visual Arts and the Media: 11 startups join the Machine Intelligence Garage creative cohort

Posted 17 Feb 2021

Digital Catapult unveils Machine Intelligence Garage’s first ever creative cohort. This cohort of 11 exciting startups is built around the novel use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the creative industries; from audio recognition and video enrichment, to 3D meshing and bringing TV characters to life.

Established in 2017 to solve the problem of startups not having access to the vast amount of compute power needed by artificial intelligence and machine learning startups to train their models, Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage has grown to provide expertise and mentoring to help companies reach their full potential.

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult commented: “Machine Intelligence Garage provides a unique avenue for machine learning startups that are looking to develop and reach new audiences. We’re excited to have gathered this cohort of creative industries companies where the opportunities to apply machine learning continue to grow in so many different ways. The UK’s universities are world’s leaders in artificial intelligence and yet we struggle to convert that work into industry. NESTA recently published a paper exploring the strength of academic research in creative topics but lamenting the lack of business translating that research into commerce.”

So we are very excited by the work going on in the companies of the new Machine Intelligence Garage cohort from how to add a “choose your own adventure” layer to graphic novels, guiding future fashion by helping designers around the world to co-create, and applications to improve playability and characterisation in the gaming sector, this group of startups are some of the most promising we’ve seen. By integrating business support and advice, mentoring and responsible development into one programme, Digital Catapult is providing an impactful, holistic route for startups to grow their businesses and add more value to their customers.”

The latest cohort, composed of companies looking to utilise AI in the visual arts and media sectors, received a number of strong applications. These were whittled down to the eleven most promising startups that the Digital Catapult team thought may possess game changing solutions. They are:

  • AWAYTOMARS – AWAYTOMARS is a fashion site that uses an AI based software to co-create with designers to achieve better products
  • Breathe Music – This is the next generation in audio recognition; a solution that can recognise every performance of every song everywhere, on every stage and on every platform – live, online and offline
  • – The Charisma app transforms graphic novels into interactive stories.’s To Play For transfers this capability to characters from a television programme, bringing them to life so that audiences can get involved in the story and change the narrative
  • DeepReel – DeepReel leverages the power of artificial intelligence to create the next generation of media localisation services for the entertainment industry. It localises video content into different languages with flawless synchronisation of actors’ lip movements to the new language and offers clients the ability to choose different actor voices
  • EnVsion – EnVsion helps creators save time and produce more engaging content at scale by automating their video workflows using cognitive AI technology. Its end-to-end solution is used to improve workflows from video enrichment and discovery to video editing and creation
  • Figaro (by FeedForward) – Figaro is a B2B search and metadata engine for music catalogues, powered by machine learning. Figaro learns the relationship between the words we use to describe music and the music itself in order to offer scalable metadata management and intuitive music search
  • HUMAIN – Humain delivers high-quality 3D character assets at lower cost and in a shorter time frame to AAA video game developers, using its AI and ML technology
  • InPerson AI (by YourTour) – InPerson AI allows any video media to be transformed into an ultra-immersive, highly interactive experience with six degrees of freedom viewing
  • Kaedim – Kaedim’s product is an AI powered software that produces 3D meshes from 2D input images. It does this in 1/100th of the time it would take a human designer
  • MetaLynx – MetaLynx uses augmented reality to insert virtual sponsorship signage into sports footage. This results in an almost limitless virtual inventory that rights-holders can sell to sponsors. Combining this with AI-based selection of the most impactful moments, it can create more relevant and engaging content for both the audience and the sponsors
  • Zeta Motion – Current Motion Capture solutions are either expensive and difficult to use and scale, or inaccurate and slow. Zeta Motion revolutionises Motion Capture with a unique AI-based approach, providing products which are fast, accurate, affordable and secure

Digital Catapult’s AI Ethics Committee will be delivering a workshop tailored to the specific issues around the use of AI in the Creative Industries as well as providing one-on-one consultations to each startup.

New partners and sponsors are also joining Machine Intelligence Garage to support the creative cohort.

  • Lewis Silkin LLP will contribute its expertise on the critical area of intellectual property (IP) in a webinar and one-on-one sessions with each of the startups.
  • Graphcore, a founding partner of Machine Intelligence Garage, will be delivering a webinar on Enabling Machine Learning Innovation with Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) Technology and is offering selected startups the opportunity to test the new mk2 IPU systems themselves.
  • The DPP and Cognizant will be hosting a media Industry workshop focused on bridging the gap between startup innovation and the real needs of the media industry
  • BBC Northern Ireland will deliver a webinar on its experience with the BBC digital archive project, Rewind, and the opportunity for startups seeking to add value to video data. The startups will get a chance to pitch and demonstrate their solutions to stakeholders at the BBC.

“Having made three decades of BBC Northern Ireland content available to UK audiences with the launch of the Rewind website in October 2020, we are delighted to collaborate with Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage to share our experiences and discuss the opportunities and challenges archive content presents to the AI sector.” said Helen Toland – Editor, Rewind (BBC Northern Ireland).

Machine Intelligence Garage cohort companies have raised equity investment after working with Digital Catapult of around £29 million, and the programme has enabled companies such as, that recently received over £3.7 million in Series A funding after meeting Nauta Capital at the annual Investor Showcase. Find out more at