Vote Leave AI firm Faculty wins latest state contract to map Covid hit on businesses
AN ARTIFICIAL intelligence firm that was hired for the Vote Leave campaign has been handed yet another government contract to help steer Britain’s Covid-19 response, following a slew of awards earlier this year.
Faculty Science has been chosen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to use machine learning to forecast the hit to businesses from coronavirus.
Under the contract, which is worth £120,000, Faculty has proposed its data scientists work “directly alongside”
BEIS for the next three to six months. The contract said the team would create interactive dashboards showing how policy decisions were affecting businesses and could hit companies in future. The dashboards will be used to shape the Government’s response to the virus. The award comes two months after The Daily Telegraph revealed Faculty had won a contract with Robert Jenrick’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to monitor the public’s social media to understand how they were responding to Covid-19.
Its tools had previously been used by the Home Office to spot terrorist activity and for polling analysis by the Vote Leave campaign, run by Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings.
A spokesman for Faculty said: “All of Faculty’s contracts with the Government are won through the proper processes, in line with procurement rules.”
Robert Jenrick, the Housing Minister, also handed Faculty a contract to monitor the public’s response to the Covid-19 crisis