Norwegian tech start-up raises interest among IT giants, police and hospitals: - Artificial intelligence can be the next export article from Norway, says the company's chairman Per Morten Hoff. (01.30.2018)
Anzyz Technologies has developed a solution for artificial intelligence from its base in Grimstad and Kristiansand.
What we thought was technology related to the healthcare sector also proved to have a number of other uses. - Anzyz is a somewhat rough diamond, says Per Morten Hoff to digi.no. The experienced ringleader has become a working chairman of the start-up company, well a year after he left ICT-Norway as he built up and led the entire 27 years. The Norwegian tech start-up is firmly anchored in the academic community at the University of Agder, and they have established cooperation with Sørlandet Hospital which is the reference customer.
Hoff claims it is a world-class artificial intelligence, with a fast and self-learning algorithm. If we are to judge from the interest in the market, then they may be in something.
He talks eagerly about the interest of several IT giants who sniff the technology, including Microsoft. Hoff talks about potential cooperation also with another non-named IT giant, who after meetings in Norway should have invited new conversations in the US. Furthermore, the Police Security Service (PST) has also looked at the technology in a separate project, which makes this a Norwegian tech start-up rather than the usual.
Not a search engine
Ole-Christoffer Granmo is an algorithmic knife and the brain behind it all. The co-founder has a doctorate in computer science, is a technology director at Anzyz Technologies and Granmo is also a professor at the University of Agder. - The technology is neither published nor patented. But on the other hand, encrypted and hidden away from countless security solutions. There is a special way to do things. Granmo may have burned earlier, and has felt that this is right for both the company and its technology, says Hoff. - Many people think we are a search engine. In reality, it is a knowledge database we build up. With a number of different applications, he points out. The challenge has been not to spread too broadly, but rather to confine itself to some selected areas. Hoff mentions three to four. The health sector is among these. There is also security,
Grinders health journal
Anzyz also has office space at the health incubator Aleap at the research park at Blindern. The fact that the company uses artificial intelligence to identify which patients at Sørlandet hospital can respond to drugs was recently included in this year's hospital ward by health minister Bent Høie. - If you change the gentle Southern Norway and end up in ambulances, then they begin to check your health record at the emergency room, says chairman Per Morten Hoff. An average Norwegian health record consists of 178 pages of information. According to Hoff, the system uses 1-2 seconds to scan the journal and check whether the patient has allergies, including allergies to cross medications, such as penicillin and morphine. - It manages the system to grind through super fast. Together with Helse Sør, one has created a knowledge database consisting of 7-8,000 medical concepts, he says. He emphasizes that the system is self-learning and quick. - All artificial intelligence is learning, but you often have to spend a very long time training it. In our algorithm there is a self-learning function that is fast. What sets us apart is that you do not need difficult data sets to teach the system.
The police security service (PST) confirms to digi.no that they have been pilot customers of artificial intelligence provided by Anzyz. " If one can stop a terrorist action, then it has a rather considerable willingness to pay "- Yes, we have been working with them. It does not help for us to have very good listening capabilities on landlines. We must keep up with developments. There are expectations that society has for us to prevent, among other things, terror. Then we do it within the legal framework we have, which is, among other things, related to privacy, says PST's press contact Martin Bernsen. Per Morten Hoff says that Anzyz views security as an important business area. - If one can stop a terrorist action, then it has a fairly considerable willingness to pay. This is a business area where everyone is looking for better ways to grab large amounts of data, he says.
Analysis of customer behavior - and soon to speak
The third focus area Hoff points to the technology they have created is analysis of customer behavior and purchasing behavior in the retail world or retail trade. - Why do you choose chicken from that manufacturer, or why do you choose Pepsi over Coca-Cola? The entire retail store is in extreme change and one wants to get more out of the information they are sitting on. He also dumps customer center (call center) as a further focus area, but admits that they expect more competition from others. - Within not too long we will be able to have a unique function where we can also catch speech. Today it is mostly written what one analyzes. To achieve this, we are in discussions about a collaboration with a smaller, non-Norwegian company (he will not disclose who, - journ.anm.) And we hope to have an agreement in place during the summer.
- Made something quite unique
Anzyz raised some risk capital at the beginning of 2017. They also received more than NOK 5 million in entrepreneurial support from Innovation Norway and the Research Council. Per Morten Hoff is working chairman of Anzyz Technologies. He will now use the experience and contact network from the time in ICT Norway as a door opener for the start-up company. Now they have the funds out of the year and well it paid off the nine employees, as well as some hiring of technologists. New issues may be in the longer term. - It is clear that the company must be strengthened both on the development side and in sales and marketing. Svein Olaf Olsen (general manager) flies back and forth as a bee and speaks both with national and international players, but we are not in a hurry. I have helped startup companies earlier where we have almost been so desperate that we have pledged empty bottles,
In sum, Hoff believes that the company's technology can become a Norwegian export success.
- We think so. We are optimists. All we think and think about, and hear from others, is that what we have created is quite unique. But at the same time, there are always some who are bigger and stronger. Petter Northug reigned for many years, but one should not sleep on the laurels, says Hoff (61), who himself is quite helpless in the ski track.
Photo and text by Marius Jørgenrud for digi.no, 30.01.2018.