Artificial intelligence is penetrating every sector and that of finance is certainly not one of the last preparing itself to be transformed because of it. Together with Alessandro Vitale, author of the book “Artificial Intelligence” published by Egea and part of the series on digital innovation edited by Talent Garden, we want to explore the binomial “artificial intelligence & fintech” trying to imagine the challenges that await us.
To whom is the book addressed and with what purpose did you write it?
The book is designed for managers and business people who want to better understand what AI is to be able to introduce to their organization. There is a lot of technical literature on the AI but something was missing which would address all the other important issues for the company, for example how processes are impacted. To write it, I was inspired by the books found in the bookstores of airports, those with which a Manager can have a good idea on a theme in the space of a round trip, which is actually the reading space available in this day and age.
What subjects did you deal with and from which point of view?
The book consists of 10 chapters to be read independently, each linked to a keyword. The first 4 chapters (Artificial Intelligence, Applications, Machine Learning, and Data) are the basis for understanding what AI is and how it works. The second part enters into the heart of managerial choices; we talk about People and their relationship and reactions to AI, the Skills necessary to develop and use it, how the Processes change in the company, how the Design of products and services changes; what Risks are introduced and the ethics that should guide us, such as Begin and choosing the first use case.
Give us three examples of AI applied in the world fintech insurtech?
There are applications, such as the robo advisor, which take advantage of the progress of Artificial Intelligence, in which Italy also plays a role together with excellences such as Deus Technology. Tractable is a UK startup which uses image recognition to estimate damage to cars just like an expert does. Included are also chatbots, also processed by my company Conversate, with examples like Mario, the chatbot developed by UBI Banca to support the merger of the Good Banks.
Opportunities and risks given by AI to the fintech sector
AI allows you to improve the service to your customer and do this more efficiently. Cleo, starting with 2 people and 10,000 pounds, after 18 months had a chatbot used by users with half a billion savings, users who used Cleo instead of their bank’s app and to whom Cleo aims to sell financial products and collect commission in the place of the bank. Depending on whether you are a startup or an incumbent, or rather, depending on the company’s approach to innovation, AI can be either an opportunity or a risk to the business.
How will AI transform the fintech sector according to you within the next 5 years?
As the futurist Roy Amara said, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run”. The impact in the short run will be less than the current hype but in the long run it will certainly exceed the expectations. A recent Harvard Business Review article says “Over the next decade, AI will not replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who do not.” Acquiring these skills and bringing them into organizations requires time and effort; the sooner you do the sooner you will be able to help build the future and not suffer because of it.
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