UK government hires AI firm Faculty to analyse social media postings


The UK Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government hired the AI firm Faculty, which had previously been contracted by prime ministerial special advisor Dominic Cummings to work for the Vote Leave campaign and which lists two current and former Conservative ministers among its shareholders, to monitor and analyse social media “to understand public perception and emerging issues of concern to HMG arising from the COVID-19 crisis”. Faculty was paid £400,000 for the work. The contract was published in June, but this aspect was redacted and not revealed until August. Faculty has several other coronavirus-related contracts including one to create a coronavirus datastore to visualise NHS data to help inform ministerial decision making.

Writer: David Pegg
Publication: Guardian