A Newcastle businessman has joined forces with Durham University and Innovate UK to develop software that 'thinks' like a human brain.

John Graham has spent the last four years working on his new networking platform Reveela - which uses artificial intelligence to provide data for the media, publishing and business sectors.

Founder and CEO John, who also launched Newcastle-based Distinctive Publishing 18 years ago, said: “Reveela’s brain can process huge volumes of data in seconds to generate insights at speed that aren’t humanly possible.”

He says its unique selling point is its ability to 'understand' the information it has and distinguish who is talking about that topic to target the right journalist, publication or social media influencer with the right material.

“The English language is incredibly complex and getting Reveela to understand context and syntax and therefore the true intent of a communication has been incredibly challenging,” said John.

“Reveela’s cognitive abilities lie in its creation of multiple neural networks, a series of algorithms that mimic the operations of a human brain to recognise relationships between vast amounts of data”.

“That means it can distinguish topics and mode of thought quite easily and at massive speed and scale, ultimately making connections and suggestions based purely on relevancy. It has taken a couple of years and data points that stretch into the millions.”

The research was developed in tandem with The Institute of Advanced Research in Computing at the University of Durham, and supported by Innovate UK.

The Reveela team – itself boasting post-grads in the fields of AI and software engineering, graphic design and even physics – realised that a tremendously fine system of classifications was the key and it now runs through more than 500 possible classifications within a few seconds of a new article being uploaded.

Co-founder Kerry Veitch said: “With the rise of digital media, it has become impossible for a person to manually identify and share their information across all relevant outlets.

"The content creation industry has billions of outlets and it grows noisier by the day. Now Reveela can observe, interpret, evaluate and make decisions at almost incomprehensible speed. It never stops learning for itself and evolving”.

Going forward, John and Kerry plan to get Reveela well-rooted in the UK, before growing their global ambitions wherever the English language is spoken. After that, the system will be translated into other languages.

Prof Boguslaw Obara, who worked at Durham University as the system was being developed, said: “One of the challenges we had to overcome in this project was data preparation, which is a crucial step for enabling data science teams at Reveela to find, prepare and share complex data."

Ian Blakemore of the Knowledge Transfer Network added: "Working with Reveela and Durham University was at the centre of a major change to the business, implementing completely novel thinking and technology in a rapidly developing area."