How is AI Transforming Finance & Insurance?
By Hollie Jaques, International Event Manager — RE•WORK
April 12, 2019
Whilst banking and financial services may have been slower off the mark in adapting to a digital future, many of the industry leaders are now being positively transformed and disrupted by digitalisation. Santander Group has set aside $22.5bn to accelerate their digital transformation, Emirates NBD has pledged to invest Dh1bn, and Lloyds is set to add up to 2000 new jobs in their ‘digital shake-up’. The hope is that the investment into these technologies will improve efficiency, accuracy and cut costs across the businesses. One of the key ways the industry will be redefined is through the application of AI. The vast amount of data in financial services means that analysis can be time-consuming and prone to human error, but these obstacles are where AI can excel — by collecting data and identifying patterns and labels the machines can learn and improve to streamline processes.
There are, however, many challenges that researchers and businesses are still facing in implementing AI into financial services. Elements such as human bias, privacy and security and ethics amongst others must be carefully considered before rolling out models, and this can be costly and time exhaustive. For the general public to benefit from these services it’s essential that industry and academia continue to work together to drive forward progressions and improve models. At the AI in Finance Summit in New York this September 05–06, experts will be coming together to explore advances in AI and machine learning tools and techniques in areas such as investment, financial compliance, financial forecasting, deep learning algorithms and more. The summit will be co-located with the AI in Insurance Summit, where speakers will cover the likes of fraud detection, customer service, facial recognition, commercial insurance and smarter claims processing.
- AI in Insurance Summit
Due to popular demand and the volume of emerging AI research in the insurance industry, the AI in Finance Summit will be joined by this additional track. Attendees will access presentations, fireside chats, panel discussions and deep dive sessions from both summits with one pass, and will network with the world’s leading innovators in the field.
- Deep Dive Sessions
Building on the hugely popular workshop stream at last years event, attendees will be able to join in-depth sessions focusing on some of the key topics throughout the summits.
- Increased Networking Potential
The addition of a second track means that not only will there be more attendees to network with, but also the volume of speakers and experts will be increased to 400, up from last year’s 250 guests. This will also feature an expanded exhibition area with more showcases and demonstrations of the latest most cutting edge technologies.
- Live Interviews
Stop by the interview space in the exhibition area where you can hear the experts discussing their careers in AI and finance as well as their current roles. As these interviews will be taking place in a public space, there will be the opportunity to participate in a Q&A after each recording.
- Increased Focus on Trending Topics
As the discussions around regulation, cybersecurity and ethics increase, these topics will take centre stage across both tracks at the summit. Sessions will focus on the explainability of algorithms used within the financial industry, and there will be presentations for business leaders and decision makers specifically as well to compliment the technical sessions.
After presenting one of the highest rated sessions at last years’ edition of the summit in New York, Manuela Veloso, Head of Artificial Intelligence Research at JPMorgan Chase & Co will be sharing her latest work on Insights on AI in Finances. Manuela, who is currently on leave from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where she is Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science, researches in AI, Robotics and Machine Learning. Manuela believes that “Reinforcement learning is extremely powerful but what makes it powerful also makes it dangerous when applying it to the real world”. At the summit, she explained that “J.P. Morgan is a fantastic environment for a researcher and a developer and it is fascinating for me to see how AI can make a difference there. The main problem though, as always, is DATA. How to we deal with data in the most effective way and harness it?”
Another returning guest at this years summit, Mark Weber will share his work at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. Mark explains that finance is too often synonymized with Wall Street, with AI applications in high-frequency trading, portfolio management, and fraud detection capturing much of our mindshare. But finance is a fundamental aspect of everyday life for everyday people, all around the world. It’s a young couple in Michigan taking out insurance on their first home. It’s a factory worker in France remitting money to his parents in Tunisia. It’s an SME farmer in Mexico pledging his corn as collateral for an affordable loan. It’s a fashion entrepreneur in Bangladesh using financial analytics to determine her growth strategy. But in each of these cases, numerous frictions in our existing financial systems drive exclusion and stifle prosperity. Recent advances in A.I. present exciting opportunities for change. But this technology is too powerful for a move-fast-and-break-things approach. Last year at the summit, Mark joined us in an interview where he spoke about his research in AI and finance and his career to date. You can watch his interview here.
Each RE•WORK Summit features new and returning speakers, and this year we’re excited to welcome Charles Girve who has recently joined Deutsche Bank as a lead data scientist in the Chief Information Security Office who will be running a Deep Dive Session at the event. Charles is passionate about teaching others data science and analytic skills and has taught data science classes all over the world at conferences, universities and for clients. One of his main research interests is increasing the productivity of data science and analytic teams, and towards that end, he has been working extensively to promote the use of Apache Drill in security applications and is a committer and PMC Member for the Drill project. At the Summit, he will share his latest work on the integration of cybersecurity and data science at Deutsche Bank.
Additional confirmed speakers include Vishal Morde, Head of Data Science, Barclays; Stephanie Lo, Vice President, Securities Finance Research & Jian Wu, Trading Strategist, State Street; Joan Gelpi, SVP, Head of Data Science, AIG; Julia Romero, Lead for Actuarial Engineering and Advanced Modeling, Haven Life and more.
Cybersecurity is also incredibly important in insurance, and parallel presentations will explore how fraud detection and deep learning algorithms can help improve security in insurance. The AI in Insurance Summit will cover many topics relevant to the financial industry, including the future of insurance and product development with machine learning. Julia Romero, Lead for Actuarial Engineering & Advanced Modeling will explain how the industry faces a number of challenges in developing new products: long-term liabilities, a rapidly changing distribution environment, and complex customer behaviors that can materially impact product value. At Haven Life and MassMutual, Julia and her team believe that the actuarial paradigm must evolve in order to support innovation and continue to delight customers for the next 100+ years. “We are building a new product development platform that uses machine learning models and modern econometric techniques to drive rapid and sound product development and pricing for the challenges of the modern insurance market.”
Also drawing on the ever-changing landscape of insurance is Joan Gelepi from AIG, who will be looking at how NLP can improve customer centricity by systematically analysing vast quantities of language driven unstructured data sets like calls, complaints, or customer representative notes. Topic Modeling and Sentiment Analytics techniques have proven to be highly effective to identify, classify, and quantify customer needs, product innovations, customer experience enhancements, and customer servicing optimizations. More specifically Joan will discuss the effectiveness of fairly mature Topic Modeling techniques such as LDiA and some of the variations we have tested to optimize accuracy and applicability of results.
Other speakers confirmed to join the AI in Insurance Summit include Michael Natusch, Global Head of AI at Prudential and Courtney McCormac, Director of Enterprise Data & Integration Analysis at New York Life.
Both summits will include 12+ hours of networking with some of the global leaders in AI and finance and insurance, as well as presentations, panel discussions, deep dive workshops and more.
At the Deep Learning in Finance Summit in March, it was great to hear what our attendees had to say:
“The breadth of experience is great, it’s not just limited to FinTech. Really excellent mix of technology and application!” — William Rouse, Director, Costello & Reyes
“Extremely relevant audience, and a very interesting summit.” — Alice Piterova, Hazy
“I’ve been at events before and it was very technical with no applications, but here there is a nice balance between things you know and more complex things which you can learn. A lot of it is papers that have been published by the speakers themselves so you can go away and read more as well as meeting the speakers themselves.” — Milan Shah, University of Manchester
“People over here are doing a lot of computer software and it’s more technical. This is the right audience for the type of discussions. Here, I’m seeing a mix of academia and industry, about half and half which is different from our typical conferences. People here are having long technical conversations, usually they’re quick conversations are over in 2 minutes. Personally I really like it.” -Guangyuan Yang, Mathworks