AI Insights from Money 20/20

By: Dr. Debbie Bartoo, Senior Innovation Strategist
Another year of Money 20/20 has come and gone. Many go in search of industry answers, some go to think about how they can innovate creatively, while others go to meet the vendors or to network. Whatever their reason for attending, everyone walks away from Money 20/20 with something.

Fourteen tracks guided attendees toward today’s important industry topics:

  • AI & Deep Learning
  • Regulation & RegTech
  • Digital Identity & Biometrics
  • Globalization
  • Cybersecurity & Fraud
  • Fintech for Social Good
  • The Fintech Revolution
  • Banking & Personal Finance
  • Next Gen Commerce & Retail
  • Blockchain & Crypto
  • Alternative Lending & Credit
  • Payments & Platforms
  • Digital Marketing & CX
  • Breaking News & Fintech Views

I focused on the AI & Deep Learning, Blockchain & Crypto and Payments & Platforms tracks. Below are some insights from the AI & Deep Learning track.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
The technology and the data that many organizations hold have made AI relevant for us to pursue now.

Jobs are going to change in the future, regardless of AI. The re-skilling of employees will be an important component of any AI plan.

Quality and efficiencies will be gained from AI, providing a positive impact for companies to absorb growth and provide new opportunities for those re-skilled.

The most promising applications of AI in financial services are:

  • Asset management
  • Robo advising
  • Automated lending
  • Accounting/Audit work
  • Back office automation

We have to monitor the effects of AI. It was mentioned that one financial institution implemented AI, but didn’t supervise the outcomes closely. They were thrilled at the decrease in loss rates, only to find through an audit, that the AI had taught itself to not make loans to people in certain neighborhoods. While AI operates behind the scenes, we can’t set it and forget it.

We have to think through the ethics of using AI. It isn’t about what can we do, but what should we do?

What we can do is consider the good that AI could bring. It was referenced that there were 3.5 billion people underserved by loans and banking. AI in combination with mobile can make it cost effective to serve customers with lower balances. This efficiency can help us offer new products to the underserved that perhaps couldn’t have been delivered in the past.

A hot topic today is AI producing output that is explainable, so that it isn’t viewed as a blackbox. Financial institutions need to ensure all data can be dissected to meet compliance requirements.

In summary, we should be testing these technologies to gain the knowledge and experience to bring forth good use cases. We need to assess what data is available today, and what data we need to start gathering, to be ready to implement AI. We need to work toward educating our organizations at all levels, so people see the opportunities of AI. We expect that as we develop use cases, AI will simply be invisible in the background, similar to payments. We can foresee using AI to create great experiences and efficiencies that provide opportunities to grow.

Watch the blog in coming weeks for more content on Money 20/20.