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Finovate Fall 2017, Live Blog Day 4


MX offers a range of products for financial institutions and fintech companies. See our banking API here and see our fintech API here.


Today we'll be covering select presentations from the thought leadership panels at Finovate.

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9:15am Tim Urban — Keynote: The AI Revolution and the Road to Superintelligence

  • When we talk about AI, we need to zoom out to talk about the big picture
  • Human history began roughly 100,000 years ago, but most technological progress has happened in the past 250 years
  • What does this mean about the future?
  • It means that progress of the coming decades will be even steeper and change will be even more dramatic
  • We'll establish a colony on Mars, invite ways to communicate via thinking instead of talking
  • AI means that humans won't be the smartest thing on the planet anymore
  • "It would be as if apes invented humans"
  • "AI is software designed to make intelligent decisions or accurate predictions in some problem domain"
  • "It can read code itself and make its own architecture"
  • Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) — good at one thing or perhaps good at a few things
  • Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) — good at many things, like humans are (there's currently no AGI on the planet, but there could be)
  • Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) — good at many things and smarter than humans at those things
  • We can see how quickly AI is developing by looking at gaming (Deep Blue won Kasparov in 1996, Alpha Go beat Lee Sedol in 2016, and Libratus beat top poker players in 2017)
  • ASI is a matter of learning more and more difficult games, and as a result it's nearly inevitable
  • If a deer jumps out as you're driving, you likely won't be sure what to do since chances are that you've never done it before. But a self-diving network could have data for 800+ similar situations and react perfectly.
  • The same thing will occur in loads of other markets
  • ASI will destroy millions of jobs, and yet we will also see the budding effect, which is what happens when new jobs are created as a result of new technology (this effect should give us optimism even though ASI may destroy our current jobs)
  • We are quickly approaching ASI and need to proceed cautiously. It could possibly be trying to do good as it understands what "good" means, and destroy us in the process — the way we sometimes destroy an ant colony when we want to build a house in place where an ant colony has established itself


9:55am AI Showcase

Tommy Marshall, Accenture

  • Five levers to create value from AI
    • Intelligent Automation — Results drive enhanced profitability via more efficient processes
    • Enhanced Judgement — Augments human intelligence on creative activities
    • Enhanced Interaction — Drives deeper relationships (e.g., chatbots)
    • Intelligent Products — Improves speed and quality
    • Enhanced Trust — Better security, drives lower governance


Audrey Solomon, WalkMe

  • Technology gives us more options, but those options can become very complex. (Think of a modern remote control that has 50+ buttons.)
  • WalkMe offers guidance for complex technology in real time by offering a help box directly in the software (like making guiding someone through a complicated remote).
  • The advice can help contextualize the advice depending on the user
  • WalkMe uses AI to offer the right help to the right user at the right time, adapting based on prior activity type (location, knowledge, history, account status, language, etc.)
  • This results in spikes in engagement


Jason Mars, Clinc

  • Mission is to reduce complexity using AI
  • We're shifting from intelligence 1.0 to intelligence 2.0, which enables embeddings, neural networks, and hidden layers instead tree structures (see image above)
  • Intelligence 2.0 doesn't rely on keywords
  • Launched a product with USAA — a product that integrates with Alexa
  • You can ask it any number of questions in any number of languages


1:40pm Bankruption: How community banking survives fintech

John Waupsh, CIO at Kasasa
Jim Bruene, Founder of Finovate

  • Small institutions have been adapting for years, and the saavy ones will continue to adapt
  • Employees need to know that they have freedom to breathe — the opportunity to make mistakes and take risks
  • Focus on one thing you want to do and choose one segment to focus on. Then start making progress on that segment.
  • Be willing to drop other products to best meet the needs of the chosen segement.
  • Focus on data, and use that data to understand your focus segment


2:10pm AI: A Game Changer for Financial Services?

Paul Yakuel — CEO and Founder, Optimove
Arif Ahmed — SVP of Payments, US BankGregg Shoenberg — Editor-in-chief, The Financial Revolutionist
Greg Ratner — Co-founder and CTO, Troops.ai

  • Humanity is making leaps in technology, but banking technology often seems dated
  • USAA has been looking for ways to use AI to reduce fraud
  • Data is going to play a key role going forward, but it's critical to connect all the datapoints together in order to eliminate bias
  • "The story of AI is the story of being able to obtain enough clean data"
  • Companies like Slack will become the next web browser — based around communication
  • One option is to crunch a bunch of data. Another option is to ask users to input more data.
  • Right now the key is to look for smart ways to complement common human activities
  • Find solutions that do things humans don't do well (such as combing through millions of pages of info and locate the most relevant data points)
  • Use AI to eliminate manual processes every chance you can


2:50pm AR/VR: A Better Realtiy for Consumers?

JIm Marous — The Financial Brand
Julie Muhn — Finovate
Raja Bose — Genepact
Tim Hong — CMO, MoneyLion

  • Example: See ATMs and houses for sale as you get around a physical location
  • Comes down to who takes ownership of the experience
  • MoneyLion build a feature called GrowYourStack, which lets people view their bank balance as a stack of cash on the ground (viewed via the video feature of your smartphone)
  • Virtual reality can be useful for more complex experiences (e.g., opening an account, getting a mortgage)
  • Marous: This will be especially helpful in rural areas, where people might not live need near a bank. With VR you could have a specialist "visit" people via video and see what their business (such as a farm) is doing and use that experience to possibly make a loan
  • Marous: "AR and VR is sometimes a solution looking for a problem. We have to be careful to not focus on products that consumers don't want. ... The way it's going to win because it leads to a better customer experience."
  • Hong: "The key is to focus on connect to customers"