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Event Recap: Synechron Exhibits at CogX 2019 – The Festival of AI & Emerging Technology

Synechron was one of the key exhibitors and partners at CogX 2019 - London’s top festival dedicated to AI and emerging technology - alongside HSBC, AIG, CISCO, PWC and more. The festival saw over 8,000 delegates from all across the globe to celebrate, discuss and debate the current state of AI in all industries, including: Financial services, education, government & policy and health. The festival also included speakers from the industry, government and academia, including Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London); Chuck Texeira (Chief Administration Officer & Head of Transformation, HSBC); Reza Khorshidi (Global Chief Scientist at AIG); academics from the Alan Turing Institute and more. Over the course of the three—day event, the Synechron team met industry leaders and organisations; listened to multiple engaging panels from top influencers and academics; and met students seeking out their next chapters.

A few of the key themes and points of discussion at the event, included:

Transformation in the Age of Machines through Eye - Tracking Technology – Firms like JP Morgan are transforming their existing ways of working by updating their current processes through the use of AI and eye-tracking technology. Traditional ‘candlestick’ charts used by traders are being used to predict whether to buy or not buy S&P 500 stocks through the use of image recognition on photos of the charts (currently achieving up to 95% accuracy). The eye-tracking technology is then used to see what traders are looking at on their screens in order to explain why they have made a certain decision and to optimise what is on the screen. The eye-processing algorithms locate certain details in the user’s eyes and corneal reflection patterns and subsequently interpret the image stream that is generated by the sensors. Those same algorithms then calculate the individual’s eyes and gaze point on a device’s screen i.e., a computer, laptop or mobile device that has an eye tracker, and is able to ‘know’ a user's intentions. What people look at is a close approximation as to what they think and feel. Eye-tracking technology can provide incredible insights and can arguably be considered the closest thing to being inside a person’s head. The technology has the potential to revolutionise the user experience (UX) for businesses and consumers as it will be able to better predict behaviours, further customise the communication channel and provide business and customers alike a fully tailored and unique customer journey, unlike ever before.

The Role of AI, Data Mining and Emerging Technologies in Building the Bank of the Future - Tech behemoths, Google, WeChat, and Facebook, have all been built by advertising. In comparison, global banking revenues are 10x that of advertising. The money behind change in banking is huge. At present, banks are undergoing large transformation projects but are also being hit by roadblocks along the way, including regulation, complexity and data mining. Banks possess such a vast volume of raw customer data, it is almost impossible for humans to correctly and efficiently analyse such a large set of data and to be able to transform it into useful knowledge and insight. In order to be able to sort through this data efficiently, data mining analyses patterns and trends that allows executives in the bank the opportunity to predict – and with a high level of accuracy (depending upon how much the model needs to be trained) - how customers would react if their interest rates were adjusted; which are more likely to be receptive to new product offerings; which customers will likely default on a loan and where there is room for increasing profitability. The potential for data mining is invaluable, but without the right business knowledge of what type of data is useful, relevant and valuable, and the technical expertise to extract that information, data mining does not have any benefits. With all the different types of consumer data available, businesses - specifically financial institutions - need to know what information is valuable to them in order to effectively mine the data, separate the necessary from the unnecessary, and know how much data is enough data, in order to generate their desired results.

The Role of AI in Insurance and Customer Protection - The insurance industry is larger than the average customer could imagine. At present, there is $10 trillion of risk worldwide and only $1 trillion is covered - that leaves an additional $9 trillion not covered. This lack of coverage creates an opening for a huge opportunity for a system overhaul for the global insurance industry. To put it into perspective, $10 trillion is 10% of the world’s GDP. The insurance industry is huge but remains largely invisible: Everyone forgets they have insurance until they need it. The use of AI in insurance has begun to develop significantly over the past few years due to its ability to lead to higher margins that then consequently encourages more innovation and greater societal impact. Before considering developing an AI strategy or project, insurance should go back to its roots and that is protecting customers and what those customers care about i.e., setting up a policy quickly; receiving the correct coverage; seamless onboarding with minimal to no paperwork; streamlining the claims process to make it easy and quick; going from a four week underwriting process to 30 seconds or less. However, despite its advancements and in comparison to banks, the insurance industry is still lagging behind. There is a reinventing of the back end of insurance that has still not happened but is needed. Global insurance companies with revenue numbers well into the billions, are still using systems from 50 years ago. The potential for AI in the insurance industry has tremendous potential but only if the customer is put at the forefront of the innovation.

For further insight on the role of AI in financial services, check out our FinLabs to about our AI, Data Science and InsurTech capabilities.

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