Edinburgh Fintech relaunches synthetic data platform amid surging demand

23/05/2024
David Tracy, Head of Data Products at Smart Data Foundry

EDINBURGH-BASED Smart Data Foundry is relaunching its synthetic data platform, Aizle, this week, following a period of sustained growth which has seen its client base and team expand in line with growing demand for its services.

Aizle, a synthetic data platform designed to accelerate innovation, is unveiling a new brand including a new stand-alone website to reflect its unique offering and facilitate plans for continued expansion and diversification.

Created by leading data innovation organisation Smart Data Foundry in 2023, Aizle has grown from a small research initiative employing two data scientists to a 15-strong division with enterprise clients including NatWest Group, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), TISA and Department for Business and Trade.

Aizle uniquely leverages AI simulation through ‘synthetic agents’ to generate complex and large synthetic datasets with no need for real data. This provides data where real data is unavailable, inadequate, compromised by privacy issues, or biased. By providing synthetic data, Aizle enables innovation in areas previously considered too difficult or expensive to explore. Additionally, Aizle’s synthetic data serves as a risk-free alternative to real-world data, eliminating privacy and other associated risks.

Aizle currently provides synthetic data to financial organisations for uses such as testing a prototype technological solution, training AI and Gen AI models, or powering sandboxes to support innovation initiatives, with ambitions to develop into new markets like energy, SME finance, home buying and telecoms.

David Tracy, Head of Data Products at Smart Data Foundry, said: “Interest in Aizle’s capabilities has soared, making it the perfect time to build a new brand and website to showcase its potential.

The market is starting to recognise that agent-driven synthetic data is not just hype but a proven, trustworthy vehicle for driving innovation and advancing AI initiatives.”

David says that using Aizle synthetic data can also help address some of the privacy and security concerns associated with using real-world data. New data breaches and scams occur every day, from major scandals like the recent Dell data breach, which put the data of 49 million global customers at risk, to the recent fake Taylor Swift ticket offers which flooded Facebook, with an estimated 3,000 victims being scammed.

As a member of the FCA Synthetic Data Expert Group, he says: “Regulators like the FCA and Information Commissioner’s Office are convening cross-industry experts and driving the conversation on how personal data is used. They are encouraging the firms they regulate – like banks, energy providers, and telecommunications companies – to minimise the use of real data and use synthetic data instead, as it can be a faster and safer way to effectively test new applications and AI initiatives.”

Unlike other synthetic data approaches, Aizle requires no real data as input. Aizle uses sophisticated AI technology to simulate the activities of synthetic people and businesses within a customisable framework of behavioural rules and patterns. This generates data about people’s jobs, spending, and financial relationships; about businesses’ bills, cashflow, and obligations; and links all of this to the big problems to solve like Fraud Scams, Environmental Impact, and Data Privacy and Ethics.

Recent Aizle projects have included working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to innovate in the area of Authorised Push Payment Fraud, one of the fastest growing financial crimes in the UK.

Aizle is currently in use with the Department for Business and Trade on a Smart Data Prize which will be launching later this summer and will enable participants to prototype their ideas in a ‘Digital Sandbox,’ with the strongest entrants eligible for a share of up to £750,000.

David said: “We are passionate about the opportunities synthetic data offers for unlocking innovation and disrupting the status quo. It benefits not only large enterprises but also empowers start-ups and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprise). These smaller organisations, which might struggle to afford or access the necessary data, can now compete on a level playing field with major financial service institutions.” 

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