An AI company has set out plans to pay developers up to £135,000 each as part of an ambitious programme to expand its Edinburgh operations.

Startup Tomoro will create 20 Scottish AI roles in the next 12 months as it seeks to develop its custom AI agent technology.

The firm, which works in alliance with ChatGPT creator OpenAI and recently announced a partnership with NIVIDIA, is investing £4 million to scale up its operations in the next three years.

The company also recently claimed that AI will transform productivity to such an extent that a 3-day working week, with no loss of employee income, will be possible within five years. 

Ed Broussard, managing director at Tomoro, said: “Tomoro is focused on helping our clients reinvent their businesses through deeply embedded AI. We’re already working on some of the most ambitious AI projects in the world from our London office and believe the talent, ecosystem and ambition to push the boundaries in Scotland is just as strong.

“We see this investment in Scotland as a great opportunity to accelerate our growth and become an active part of one of the most thriving data and AI centres in Europe.”

Unlike automation, custom AI agents are designed to be self-sufficient in understanding requests, gathering the right data, making decisions and performing, or initiating, action, added Broussard.

They can be used to perform specialist sets of business activities and can think, reason, make decisions and take actions much like a human or a group of humans would. 

He added: “For example, it act as a customer service representative, or a tax expert, or a research assistant, or even a graphic designer focused on creating materials for a specific brand.”

Broussard added his company ensures maximum AI safety.

“The key here is that it’s not one big AI black box and we just hope the output is correct,” he said. “For each application we look at the different risk elements and put controls around each element. This allows us to control the knowledge an agent utilises, how it reasons, and to make sure it can explain its decisions back to us and reference the documents it uses.”

Broussard has a history of bringing AI jobs to Scotland – having made a similar investment with Mudano, the last business he co-founded. In 2018, he established an AI research and development (R&D) department in Edinburgh for Mudano which subsequently grew to become a financial services data and AI consultancy before being acquired by Accenture in 2020. 

Les Bayne, chairman at The Datalab, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for Data and AI, said: “To have one of Europe’s most exciting AI start-ups make such a significant investment in Scotland is an exciting moment for the Scottish data and AI community and demonstrates the world-leading role Scotland can play in the AI revolution.”

Tomoro works with large enterprises across financial services, energy, media, Telco and other industries to help them embrace AI to drive new revenue and reduce their cost base though custom-built AI Agents. Broussard said he hopes to apply the technology in public sector technology procurements, as well, in the coming years.

The new roles will cover all levels from graduates to experienced AI engineers. The jobs created include AI engineers, AI solution architects and AI consultants. Individuals will work to design, build and deploy AI applications, working with large language models and organisational datasets and knowledge. Teams will be hybrid, based across Scotland and employees will also be working on-site with clients.