Risk Management Association of Orange County Starts Discussion of Tech Changes in the Financial Industry

Past Tides
May 4, 2018 By Jackie Connor

In April, The Women in Finance Group hosted the Risk Management Association of Orange County at the Cove @ UCI, inviting a panel of financial service leaders to discuss technological changes on topics including blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics.

The panel, who consisted of executives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Cisco, DocuSign and Kinecta Federal Credit Union, defined AI and blockchain technology and discussed the practical uses of AI, such as chatbots and virtual assistants to answer questions for high volume call centers, and machine learning for underwriting, fraud detection and report generation. They encouraged the audience to be aware and understand the capabilities of different technologies and decipher between the hype and reality.

“A good use of blockchain is you can control your data,” said Sharon Moseley, chief information and strategy officer, Kinecta.

She recommended the audience to read about Ethereum, a decentralized blockchain app platform that promotes the democratization of computing and ensuring security and one’s own control of one’s own data.

Monique Dumais-Chrisope, senior vice president, business executive technology, Bank of America Merrill Lynch highlighted the need for governance over AI to deter certain machine learning biases.

“You have to make sure the people that are coding [AI] are diverse, that they are not implementing unconscious bias,” said Dumais-Chrisope. “Because AI is using machine learning, make sure you are testing that all the time.”

Dumais-Chrisope expressed the hope to bring the financial industry together to streamline AI’s benefits and capabilities. As an example, Moseley added how Facebook’s data sale to Cambridge Analytics has driven differences in the American political system. She mentioned Americans tend to side with convenience whereas Europeans are more concerned about privacy and will read lengthy policy agreements.

“I think consumers are going to have to get smarter,” said Moseley. “I do hope there is some slim regulation that says there needs to be an easy-to-understand disclosure that people truly have to accept—maybe you want a free Facebook account, but the price of that is your data.”

Moseley pinpointed larger companies struggling with change management with regards to technological advancements whereas smaller companies ability to quickly to transform their platforms. Katie Kemp, Director, Enterprise Account Management, DocuSign recommended large companies start with small progress such as implementing AI for targeted services such as wire transfers.

“They [large companies] have a lot of security and legal requirements they think are actually hindering them from digitizing their business,” said Kemp.

Steve Bingham, sales director, global enterprise, Cisco, talked about cloud computing’s capability of providing small businesses with more capabilities that would otherwise require a massive database, facilities charges and technical expertise.

“All of those services and functions can be done on the cloud and turned around very quickly,” said Bingham.

The panel concluded that the majority of organizations, about 59 percent according to Gartner Inc., a leading research group and advisory company, are still gathering information for their AI adoption strategy. About 25 percent of companies are utilizing AI and the remaining 16 percent are implementing, currently using or are furthering plans for AI adoption.

For more information about Cove events, click here.