Oh no, startup Massive Analytic unleashes 'artificial precognition'

Well, we're pretty much doomed then

When Britons do tech startups they don't hold back. London-based Massive Analytic is an artificial intelligence startup that has created Oscar AP, a product they describe as 'artificial precognition'.

If name Massive Analytic wasn't just this side of disturbing, the unnecessarily creepy "artificial precognition" marketing moniker adequately conveys the spine-chilling depth of the startup's claimed capabilities.

Massive Analytic claims its artificial precognition technology "acts like a trusted advisor, identifying hidden relationships inside data of any size and discovering the likelihood of success for business decisions".

Keith Brown, managing director of Massive Analytic customer Paythru certainly seems to like the results. His quote is worth printing in full:

We are excited to be a part of the journey with Massive Analytic and to be using Oscar AP at Paythru.

We have specific challenges around delivering real-time recommendations and merchant offers to potential customers in malls and physical marketplaces.

Oscar AP’s approach to analytics would allow us to target our customers better and quicker and ensure that we push contextual offers to them in real time helping end consumers and merchant partners do business better.

Youtube Video

Hello, Mr. Yakamoto

Massive Analytic has started accumulating patents on its technologies and seems to have recruited many of the top minds in the field. Initial successes indicate that the tech works and works reasonably well.

This means that there's a good chance you'll be seeing it built into pretty much everything just as quickly as companies can figure out how to integrate it.

Technical details

Massive Analytic claims that Oscar AP can cope with both structured and unstructured data. It is one of the leading startups in a new generation of analytics platforms that doesn't required a room full of PhDs in order to do high-end Big Data analytics.

Claims of "one-click machine learning" are targeted at the non-technical user and automation of the analytics is integrated into the interface.

Oscar AP currently exists as an Azure-deployable application, but there are plans for on-premises versions, hybrid computing versions and even multi-tenant versions for cloud service providers wanting to light up copies for their customers.

Massive Analytic isn't joking around here. This is no fly-by-night startup looking for a quick acquisition: they actually intend to go big with this thing.

A company looking to eke out operational efficiencies could point Oscar AP at their own internal datasets and extract information that would otherwise be hard to find.

They could pinpoint where errors in manufacturing, logistics and supply chain consistently occur. They could spot personnel issues and ultimately predict failures in everything from equipment to people.

Considering that London is the financial hub of the western world, I fully expect that a bunch of people in very expensive suits are in an endless series of meetings with Massive Analytic to see how this technology could apply to their businesses as well. Of course, this technology has a dark side as well.


Unfortunately, one can't contemplate a technology this powerful without also bearing in mind the society that will employ it. Technology is a tool, artificial precognition promises to be a powerful tool, and that means it will inevitably – and rapidly – be turned against the people.

In short order Oscar AP could be sold to telecoms companies, broadcasters, advertising agencies, retail shops and more. They can run it on their networks, where networks meet, on datasets they mine, datasets they buy or datasets they share amongst themselves.

Dr Doom channeling David Cameron

Dr. Doom? No. David Cameron!

If it works as advertised, Oscar AP provides every business on earth with access to information about you to find out everything they could ever want about you at the push of a button. Minimal effort, virtually no setup, no expertise required.

Expect governments to be all over this. Your local council would like nothing better than to find more efficient ways to fine you for littering, jaywalking, putting out too many bags of trash and anything else they can dream up.

Elected officials of all ranks would love to know who dissidents are, even before the dissidents themselves know they are going to speak up. Who is likely to leak information or be a whistleblower? Who is going to publicly question the next snoopers' charter?

Imagine what would happen if Massive Analytic and DataGravity (who build storage that is obsessed with tracking who touched what and when) got together. In the case of an information leak, a corporation or government could combine access databases with building access records with $deity knows what else and narrow a field of hundreds of possible suspects to exactly whodunit.

In short, Massive Analytic have built a technology that promises to revolutionise how companies deal with internal efficiencies and how they relate to their customers. They may also be the company that makes hunting whistleblowers push button simple.

If the technology is even a fraction as good as advertised, Massive Analytic is very soon going to have more business than they know what to do with. ®

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