As marketing and branding executives plan for the new year, the digitally transformative adoption of machine learning will most certainly be essential. Adweek talked with executives from the worlds of finance, media and technology for their take on 2018 and beyond. We hear from Frank Cooper III, CMO of Blackrock; Barbara Basney, VP Global Brand, Advertising & Media for Xerox; Keith Grossman, Global CRO of Bloomberg; and Elyssa Gray, VP Brand at financial services company Betterment.
In today's world of intense competition, the declining working age population, global anaemic demand and appetite for re-industrialization, technological innovation has risen as the key to corporate success. The "survival of the fittest" requires businesses to embrace emerging technology today. AI is now the main area of focus for firms looking to stay ahead. More accurate decision-making is a desired outcome, a benefit particularly sought by firms in financial services. AI-driven algorithms are now actively being put to work now, for example, in equity trading and some areas of investment management.
Check out AI-Powered Crime Prediction at the Strata Business Summit at the Strata Data Conference in San Jose, March 5-8, 2018. Hurry--early price ends January 19. In this episode of the O'Reilly Media Podcast, I spoke with Gayle Sheppard, vice president and general manager of Saffron AI Group at Intel, and David Thomas, chief analytics officer for Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). Our conversations centered around the utility of artificial intelligence in the financial services industry. According to Sheppard, associative memory AI technologies are best thought of as reasoning systems that combine the memory-based learning seen in humans--recognizing patterns, spotting anomalies, and detecting new features almost instantly--with data.
Other technology-driven platforms, like Humanyze and HireVue, are also developing processes to remove bias from algorithms and create equal access to job opportunities. By using the bias-free algorithms developed by these types of companies, we've seen global organizations dramatically transform their gender, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity in ways that they've never been able to achieve in the past. We've seen financial services companies take roles that were previously 80-20 male-female employees to 50-50. We're seeing algorithms move the needle for diversity in ways that had never been possible when we solely relied on humans to make decisions.
Virtual advisors are helping meet the demands of investors who want data-driven insight and a rich, personalized experience akin to Netflix. Cognitive software platforms, which provide the tools to analyze, organize, access, and provide advisory services based on a range of structured and unstructured data, are set to attract investment of nearly US$2.5 billion in this year alone. Additionally, spending on intelligent and cognitive applications is forecast by IDC to grow at an impressive 69 percent compound annual growth rate from 2017 to 2020. Driving this explosion is the fact that more data will be created in 2017 than in the last 5,000 years. And it's expected to increase three-fold from this year until 2021.
A few of our clients have been investing in AI for years and now many are including these technologies as strategic priorities. In a recent global survey by KPMG, sixty-five percent of banks and thirty-six percent of asset management companies ranked AI within the top three technologies of interest, as did almost one-quarter of all participating insurance companies. This Matchi Master Discussion aims to give you expert insight into common AI misconceptions, current trends and possible ways to integrate this technology into your financial institution. Join us to make sure that you are up to speed and fully prepared to forge a new fintech future, ahead of your competitors.
Fintech industries have been catching up quite well in blending advance analytics with RPA (Robotic Process Automation) implementation in its business process in the journey of digital transformation. Human time is too expensive to be wasted in carrying out mundane and repetitive tasks. Data and advance Analytics are proving to be a huge differentiator in most of the businesses primarily in BFSI Sector. Business decisions related to revenue, cost control, risk management etc. mostly revolves around organization's data management capability. People are shifting from intuitive to data based model to back their decisions.
Despite fears of a tech-led revolution, automated advice and natural-language artificial intelligence are not yet ready to eclipse traditional advisors. Indeed, they may never be ready. Instead, these tech innovations are actually helping advisors. Major advances across the financial planner's toolkit are making these tools more efficient. Vast improvements also allow advisors to build broader and deeper relationships with clients, and justify their fees.
The launch of the first ATM (or cash machine), in London by Barclays, heralded a new, consumer driven focus for retail banks, with customers deciding when (and later, where) they wanted to access their money. This change allowed banks to shift their focus from applying rules (you may only withdraw money at a specific time) to meeting evolving customer needs. Additional technological advances brought further innovation and customer benefits. Plastic started to replace the cash in consumers' wallets, and online banking portals emerged on computers and smartphones, freeing consumers from the tyranny of opening hours, paperwork and phone calls from merchants to verify bank balances. In an increasingly competitive banking environment, consumers found themselves spoilt for choice as their banks increasingly tried to tailor their services to their customers' changing lifestyles.
A second wave of automation in banking will increase capacity and free employees to focus on higher-value projects. To capture the opportunity, banks must take a strategic, rather than tactical, approach. Automation is the focus of intense interest in the global banking industry. Many banks are rushing to deploy the latest automation technologies in the hope of delivering the next wave of productivity, cost savings, and improvement in customer experiences. While the results have been mixed thus far, McKinsey expects that early growing pains will ultimately give way to a transformation of banking, with outsized gains for the institutions that master the new capabilities.