Frantisek “Frank” Vrabel, Founder & CEO, Semantic VisionsFrantisek “Frank” Vrabel, Founder & CEO
The risk-assessment sector has grown significantly in recent years, as Big Data and AI-solutions have given us new ways to monitor, collect, and analyse open-source intelligence (OSINT). And yet, most solutions on the market focus exclusively on English-language content analysis, even though English represents just a fraction of actionable intelligence. Moreover, most OSINT systems that narrowly focus on the English-language web end up missing key trends, which can be costly. The example of the German payments processor, Wirecard, perfectly surmises this challenge. In mid-2020, the company abruptly filed for insolvency after it was reported in the international media that it had committed fraud. But the scandal, which developed over many months and was first reported in the local German press, was devastating to investors, creditors, and customers worldwide. Despite the clear signs of trouble, few of those affected spotted the risks in time to save their assets.

Set against this backdrop, companies like Semantic Visions are changing the narrative in the risk-assessment sector with its proprietary military-grade solutions that allow clients to “see” the whole picture. As an actionable analytics company, Semantic Visions runs a proprietary, military-grade OSINT system powered by a unique cross-language semantic technology. Semantics Visions collects and analyses 90 per cent of the world’s online news content across major world languages to help clients detect risks in real-time–long before they materialise. With such cross-language capabilities, the company has been successful in spotting risk long before it comes to a head, thus mitigating threats for its clients. “There’s no other company on the market that is providing effective risk detection in a wide spectrum of threats on a global scale in real-time,” says Frantisek “Frank” Vrabel, the company’s Founder and CEO.

Semantic Visions empowers clients with a plethora of innovative risk management solutions. For instance, its OSINT system can track reputational risk to help institutional risk managers map out and monitor blind spots, powering decisions and enabling real-time responses. Some of the world’s largest companies rely on Semantic Visions’ solutions to track supply-chain risk and defend against regulatory, operational, and geopolitical threats. As for creditors, with Semantic Visions solutions, they can track the potential credit risk of borrowers, supplementing their internal documentation to identify repayment risks long before they turn up in earnings reports.
A Unique Approach Data Collection, Threat Detection and Risk Assessment

Unlike other risk assessment solution providers that primarily analyse online social networks, Semantic Visions focuses exclusively on online news. “There are two reasons,” says Vrabel. “First, because the vast majority of information on sites like Twitter, Facebook or WeChat – 99.99 percent of it in fact – is completely irrelevant to the assessment of risk. We monitor a large quantity of online news sources which publish, in aggregate, articles almost as quickly as online social media conversations but with incomparably less noise. In this way, we intentionally use the collective intelligence of millions of authors and editors of news online to evaluate what is important and what’s not.”

There’s no other company on the market that is providing effective risk detection in a wide spectrum of threats on a global scale in real-time

Vrabel adds that meaningful information is often scattered across the web in numerous languages before it appears on social media. Moreover, troves of important information never appear on social media at all, which makes Semantic Visions’ method of risk analysis superior to systems that only monitor social media channels.

Recently, Semantic Visions conducted an in-depth assessment of cross-border transmission of disinformation related to the global outbreak of Covid-19. Using the company’s proprietary military-grade OSINT system, the report looks at the situation from a global perspective using the case study of the Czech Republic as a target country. It analyses the origin, development, and shaping of disinformation narratives and tracks their pathways into the Czech-speaking cyberspace. The information used for this report is based on an advanced semantic and sentiment analysis system that processes over 1 million news articles per day, from 800 thousand online sources. The research helped pull back the curtain on the primarily Russian origins of Covid-19-related disinformation in the Czech Republic.

The idea for Semantic Visions was conceived in 2005, when Vrabel was working in the defence industry on C4i (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence) systems technology. He was quick to spot an opportunity for expanding the use of OSINT-collection and analysis. At the time, militaries and intelligence agencies – historically the institutions leading the way in digital innovation – were not using cross-language semantic analysis in their OSINT systems, which created huge blind spots for operational readiness. Vrabel knew instinctively there was a better way to put public information to work. In partnership with a few trusted data scientists and software developers, he laid the groundwork for Semantic Visions.

Touching upon yet another challenge that enterprises face today, Vrabel says organisations must rethink the way they share information internally. To that end, Semantic Visions’ solutions bring a 50,000-foot-view of the threat environment—similar to the intelligence structure in military organisations—down to the analyst level, which is instrumental in improving situational awareness.

What makes Semantics Visions second to none is a highly skilled multinational team of scientists and engineers who combine deep cultural and philosophical awareness with mathematical expertise to illuminate evolving risks and threat-related trends. Besides its cross-language capabilities, the uniqueness of Semantic Visions also stems from the depth and scale of its content database. “We maintain and constantly update one of the largest databases of online news content anywhere in the world,” says Vrabel. “With the collection of billions of websites, blogs, and news articles we are able to harness the ‘long tail’ of the Internet and spot trends over time by bringing context to current situations.”

With a strong value proposition in place, Semantic Visions has no plans of slowing down. The company has just launched a new website and is moving aggressively to bring new solutions to market, including a “Covid-19 Vaccine Risk Early Warning System,” and a “Cross-language Contextual News Search.” These and other solutions will help clients detect, manage, mitigate, and avoid threats to their organisations, people, or property.

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