Where do banks fits in the fintech stack? It's a good question, and it's also the title of a recent presentation given by Lael Brainard, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Ms. Brainard believes that the evolution of smartphones holds lessons for where the fintech ecosystem is heading, and what banks role within it might be. "The iPhone is a key platform on which the app ecosystem operates. Apple made the smartphone a toolkit for third-party developers to experiment, innovate, build, and scale new apps.
Lael Brainard, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, recently gave a speech titled What Are We Learning about Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services? Before I tell you what her answers were, I'll tell you what I think they're learning: Not enough. Brainard started her speech with the now-customary breathtaking "OMG, AI and data are transforming the world at an alarming rate!" intro that, apparently, all speakers are required to make these days when talking about AI. "The potential breadth and power of these new AI applications inevitably raise questions about potential risks to bank safety and soundness, consumer protection, or the financial system. The question, then, is how should we approach regulation and supervision? It is incumbent on regulators to review the potential consequences of AI, including the possible risks, and take a balanced view about its use by supervised firms."
In a speech delivered at "Fintech and the New Financial Landscape" in Philadelphia on November 13, 2018, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard discussed how technology is changing the financial landscape and the lessons being learned about artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services. According to Governor Brainard,"[a]lthough it is still in the early days, it is already evident that the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services is potentially quite important and merits our attention." She noted that the Fintech working group is working across the Federal Reserve System "to take a deliberate approach to understanding the potential implications of AI for financial services, particularly as they relate to our responsibilities." The focus of Governor Brainard's speech was on the branch of AI known as machine learning – which applies and refines a series of algorithms on a large data set in order to identify patterns and make predictions for new data. Brainard highlighted how recent technological advances have made the three key components of AI – algorithms, processing power, and big data – all increasingly accessible.
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said Tuesday night there is no need for a Fed cryptocurrency and the risks of one could be great. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said Tuesday night that a cryptocurrency from the Fed or another central bank could risk creating a global target for cyberattacks or provide a ready means of money laundering. "There is no compelling demonstrated need," Brainard told a digital currency forum at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. While proponents of central bank cryptocurrencies have argued they would be more stable and reliable than Bitcoin and other digital currencies from the private sector, Brainard said they could very well be wrong. In addition to the cybercrime and money laundering risks, the Fed Governor said the technological challenges to creating a central bank cryptocurrency would be immense.
Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog owned by Megan Brainard, stands onstage after being announced the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018. An English bulldog with an underbite and muscular, rounded front legs won the 30th annual World's Ugliest Dog contest on Saturday night. The 9-year-old winner, named Zsa Zsa, was found via a pet-finding site by owner Megan Brainard of Anoka, Minn., according to a biography supplied for the contest. Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, is carried by owner Megan Brainard during the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018. The cuddly competition, which helps organizers publicize that many pets are available for adoption, allowed owners to flaunt the imperfections of their dogs.