Cardiff-based software firm AMPLYFI leading the way in Deep Web AI technology

Written for Finance Wales

The internet is a vast and largely untapped resource of data and information. With its leading software platform, DataVoyant, Welsh start-up AMPLYFI is revolutionising how we interact with the web and unlock its full potential. The company recently secured a substantial investment from Finance Wales and is already working with leading blue-chip companies.

Since the internet’s inception, trillions of gigabytes of information have been uploaded and made available. A query using a standard search engine such as Google or Yahoo will unveil pages and pages of data on just about any subject – but they are only scraping the surface of what is available online. The internet can be compared to an iceberg – beneath the waves of easily accessed material lies the ‘Deep Web’; a far greater source of information.

So what exactly is the Deep Web?

“The Deep Web is a term used to describe the area of the internet that is not recognised by a standard search engine” explained Dr Yunus Saatchi, Chief AI Officer at AMPLYFI, a Cardiff-based software firm which specialises in developing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that leverage both the Surface and Deep Web. “It is an enormous knowledge store, full of rich datasets such as academic journals, government databases, and financial records. The Deep Web is estimated to be at least 500 times larger than the Surface Web.”

As an example, if you are looking for discounted rail travel you might start by typing ‘cheap train tickets’ into a standard search engine. This will direct you to a number of websites offering this service. Selecting one site, you then input your departure and arrival stations, along with when you wish to travel. This takes you to a new, deeper level page where a journey planning form presents you with a selection of ticketing options. Selecting the option that best suits your needs takes you through to further levels etc. All of this information is drawn from large databases of information that sit behind the website. It is openly available, just not indexed by a standard Surface Web search engine as it requires direct user input for the page to be dynamically created.

Endless searches solved

Being able to search the Deep Web effectively for important information has traditionally been difficult. It can be time consuming, often error-prone, and is highly unlikely to be humanly possible to work through every available database.

AMPLYFI provides solutions that tap into and unlock the rich vein of information held in the Deep Web. Its cutting-edge AI tools like DataVoyant can simultaneously harvest, curate, and simplify unstructured Big Data on literally any topic of choice.

Dr Letizia Mortara of Cambridge University’s Centre for Technology Management weighed in, “Big Data and advanced analytics have started impacting many aspects of our lives. Start-ups such as AMPLYFI are at the forefront of the development of Artificial Intelligence tools for Deep Web harvesting that are transforming how businesses gather technology intelligence.”

“As a user-friendly, web-accessible software platform, DataVoyant empowers companies to directly explore, and make sense for themselves, all open source data using our AI-engines. DataVoyant generates in-house actionable insights without the need for deep subject matter expertise, long lead-times, sharing sensitive information with third parties or revealing strategic lines of enquiry to others,” said Mark Woods, AMPLYFI’s Chief Technology Officer.

“DataVoyant provided us with a unique opportunity to apply AI to generate valuable strategic insight into patterns, trajectories and geographical variance of emerging technology areas,” explained Dr Daniel Walker, Emerging Technology Manager at BP plc. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work with AMPLYFI on future projects.”

As well as working with BP, AMPLYFI have used their AI technology to help organisations plan investments, direct future research and development projects, and better understand and monitor potentially disruptive developments.

“We believe DataVoyant has great potential as a leading AI Surface and Deep Web analytics platform, especially from the venture capital perspective,” noted Francis Wong, Executive Director of Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia. “The AMPLYFI team and their global reach have also impressed us.”

“To ensure we remain the global leader in steel wire solutions, it is vital that we efficiently monitor for early warning signals into possible technology or market disruptions,” said Dr Wim Van Vooren, Senior Knowledge and Expertise Manager at Bekaert. “Over the course of 2016, we piloted AMPLYFI’s AI technology and it is clear that DataVoyant represents a leap forward in business intelligence gathering capability.”

Dr Tomas Sanchez Lopez, Head of Data Analysis and Interaction at Airbus Group, added, “DataVoyant’s ability to access and analyse the Surface and Deep Web is an exciting development for both those of us in industry and the Welsh innovation ecosystem.”

Substantial investment secured

The company recently secured a large investment from Finance Wales.

“This is an exceptional start-up,” said Investment Executive Phil Barnes. “AMPLYFI’s world-leading AI technology has been successfully piloted with a wide range of companies and organisations in sectors including defence, energy, finance, manufacturing and professional services. They have already established a track-record of helping companies reduce the cost of acquiring business intelligence and improve the quality and speed of decision-making. Finance Wales are proud to support AMPLYFI.”

“Phil and the Finance Wales team have been instrumental to our success. Their recent investment has ensured that we are able to grow AMPLYFI’s AI offering and expand our highly-skilled programming team. We’re very proud to be based in Cardiff. Being embedded within a vibrant, entrepreneurial environment that provides support and momentum gives us confidence that we can effectively scale up and help place Wales on the global digital innovation map,” said Chris Ganje, Chief Executive Officer of AMPLYFI.

There is an important distinction to be made between the ‘Deep Web’ and the ‘Dark Web’: the Dark Web is a small part of the internet that has been purposefully hidden primarily for illicit purposes. AMPLYFI only deals in accessing open source data from the Surface and Deep Web.