Five Questions with… AMPLYFI CEO, Chris Ganje – Computer Business Review

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Turbocharging AI (and Welsh volleyball)…

Every Monday morning we fire five questions at a leading C-suite figure in the business technology sector. Today we’re pleased to be joined by Cardiff, Wales-based AI company AMPLYFI‘s CEO Chris Ganje.

Chris, What’s the Biggest Challenge for your Clients?

Businesses face the same questions today that they always have: how can I get ahead of the competition? What should we launch next? Where is our next disruption coming from? Where should I invest? How are our customers behaving? How are they changing? What about the people who don’t bank or shop here already?

AMPLYFI CEOWhilst the answers and insights are out there, our clients face multiple challenges in finding and creating value from them.

Businesses increasingly recognise the need to collect data, and Business Intelligence 4.0 is creating the means to do so, however many tools and methodologies remain surprisingly primitive.

Helping them understand how to grapple with increasingly large, complex, and unstructured datasets to arrive at meaningful insights and conclusions, is where AMPLYFI adds value.

The difference today is that technology is changing the way that every single question can be answered. In addition, our clients are wrestling with the accelerating pace of technological change. The decisions clients make on tech development today may easily become redundant in five years’ time. We work with some of the world’s largest corporations in banking, finance, pharma, and automotive (amongst many others), and we know that each industry is facing an unprecedented period of disruption.

Whether it’s decisions about the implementation of robotics and AI, or investment opportunities, decision makers are navigating a minefield of potential threats and missed opportunities.

Often, it is our human limitations that hold us back. Human-based analysis still prevails across the business intelligence community. This means that we find ourselves in situations where C-suite decision makers are beholden to the natural and unavoidable human traits that underpin any recommendations or analysis. Bias or prejudices, human error, and the limitations of our imaginations all mean that opportunities are often missed, mistakes made and, even with the best will in the world, wrong decisions taken.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is making inroads into solving these issues. At AMPLYFI, we have developed complex algorithms that unlock and analyse the largest unstructured dataset on earth – the surface and deep web – to bring clarity to past, present, and future trends, generate insights, and highlight potential opportunities and threats in a manner that even non-subject matter experts can understand. The machine delivers results without bias, enabling the C-suite to make faster and smarter decisions.

Technology that Excites you Most?

Where to start? On the industrial side, quantum computers will elevate technology and innovation to a new level. They will solve the mathematical equations of our lifetimes, transforming every area from medicine to philosophy. With quantum computing, the future is already in a better place.

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are having a significant impact on machine learning. The method involves the machine analysing datasets to then create outputs of its own based on that data. Allied with reinforcement learning techniques, our industry is rapidly transitioning into a new era. In the public consciousness, we’ve seen it at work with the likes of high profile successes such as FaceApp, but its application will be much more impactful than just a fun app. We’re already living in the future.

Wearable technologies are having an important impact both for industry and consumers. Today, wearables are enabling us to monitor our health better than ever, we can pay for goods without the need for a wallet or even a smartphone, and insurers can tailor their product offerings based on biometric data.  Just a few short years ago, who would have thought that warehouse operatives would be using Google Glass within their day-to-day work? DHL have taken a leaf out of Terminator and done just that with their AR ‘vision picking’ glasses.

Greatest Success?

It’s easy to point to AMPLYFI as my greatest success. Five years ago, AMPLYFI was just an idea, a revolutionary concept. Today, we’re transforming business intelligence and market research by unlocking the entire internet and placing control of it into the hands of our clients. It has been an incredible journey, enabled only by the collection of phenomenal people we have been able to bring together.

We’ve assembled a team of absolute rock stars across to create a global deep-tech company that has been revenue generating from the very start. Not many tech start-ups – or even global tech unicorns – can say that!

We’re working with major brands such as RBS, BP, and Bayer on crucial projects. We’ve seen huge growth in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, partnering with the Department for International Trade to help elevate the UK technology industry on the global stage.

We’re already in a position to take a lead on developing the next generation of tech talent in the UK by helping the UK Government to develop an AI Masters programme launching this September. AMPLYFI is not only succeeding as a company, we’re making a major contribution to our industry.

Above all, I’m proud of the culture that we have been able to create at AMPLYFI. Our team has bought into our mission to change the face of business intelligence and are driving us forward to achieve it. Every day, we’re improving and expanding AMPLYFI’s suite of products, solving our clients’ problems through innovation and expertise of some of the best AI and machine learning experts in the world.

Greatest Failure?

Initially, we set out to transform technology horizon scanning by generating early warning signals into emerging tech around the world.

It’s obvious now that, by working with open-source content across the entire internet, we underestimated how universally applicable our technologies would turn out to be. Every new industry sector that we come into contact with has a completely different set of requirements that our technologies provide answers for. This realisation has only come through working with and better understanding our customers.

Such interactions have influenced how we commercialise our product pipeline, whether it be developing new applications for analysing financial information or for gaining a better understanding of the breadth of potential user communities across an organisation and the types of platform that they will best interact with. In the past we were probably guilty of tinkering too much and worrying about what the market will or will not absorb. It has been a steep learning experience, but an incredible one that we’re still on.

In Another Life I’d Be…

Leading the USA to success in the FIVB Volleyball’s Men’s Nations League. I love the sport and have made it my mission to make everyone else at AMPLYFI feel exactly the same way. I’ve even managed to convince my fellow co-founders to sponsor Welsh beach and indoor volleyball teams!

See also: Five Questions with… Sonatype CTO Brian Fox

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