AI: The New Face Of A Company’s Digital Brand by Jennifer L. Schenker

3D visual of a humanoid robot overthinking something.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is winning acclaim for a service that uses artificial intelligence to not only send customers booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass, and flight status updates but to also answer their questions.

The service uses a chatbot, a conversational computer program that customers can interact with via a messaging interface like SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, Slack, Kik, Telegram, and WeChat. The result: huge time savings for customer service agents, who can instead focus on customers with more pressing or complicated needs.

Beyond the airline industry chatbots are being used in fields such as retail, banking, insurance and health, signaling a sea change in the way customers converse with companies or engage in commerce.

“AI is making the user interface both simple and smart – and setting a high bar for how future interactions will work,” says … Read More

Balancing Human Ethics And Artificial Intelligence by Jennifer L. Schenker

(This article first appeared in the 2017 Techonomy print and digital Magazine.)

You are driving along and your car’s brakes suddenly fail. If it swerves to the left, three old men and two elderly women will die. If the car veers to the right, it kills a woman doctor, two babies and a boy and girl.

Who should die? This question is part of MIT Media Lab’s “moral machine,” a platform for gathering peoples’ opinions on moral decisions made by machine intelligence, such as self-driving cars. In the coming age of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), such life and death decisions and many other complicated ones will increasingly be made by machines rather than people.

A lot depends on who determines the value systems for artificial intelligence software. Those values could be carefully and methodically crowd-sourced from society at … Read More

Will Banks Become Brokers of Personal Data? By Jennifer L. Schenker

Privacy may not be dead after all.

A $20.5 million joint investment by six banks in a fintech start-up called SecureKey is part of an ambitious plan to roll out a national digital identity network in Canada that aims to offer a secure way for consumers to exchange all types of personal data.

It is being hailed as the largest privacy- by –design consumer digital identity service initiative to date, is expected to be among the first widespread commercial uses of blockchain distributed ledger technology by financial services institutions and, if it lives up to its promise, could serve as a model for other countries.… Read More

Banking and Biometrics: The Start-Ups To Watch By Jennifer L. Schenker

Cyber security used to be almost a box ticking exercise at banks, a boring compliance task. No more. Today it is a board level consideration as the scale of the attacks, the amount of damage and the sophistication of criminal hackers escalate.

Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan have had serious security breaches in recent years and months, resulting in millions of records becoming public. And Swift, the system banks use to send payment instructions worth trillions of dollars each day, was hacked at least three times over the summer. At Sibos, its annual conference, Swift announced the introduction of a set of security standards and an associated assurance framework for its customers.… Read More

Blockchain: An Rx For Healthcare’s Pain Points? By Jennifer L. Schenker

Blockchain could be just what the doctor ordered for patients’ medical records and claims.

There has been much discussion about how financial services might be transformed by the blockchain, a distributed ledger technology that enables the transfer, with privacy and security, of anything of value without the need for a middleman.

Now “the healthcare sector is starting to wake up to the possibilities of sharing data with providers and patients using blockchain technology,” says Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger, a collaborative technology initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation which aims to establish a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers so that they can be used effectively for global business transactions.… Read More

Why Blockchain Won’t Disrupt Banks First Guest Essay

As two people who have been working closely with blockchain for a while now – Oliver as a fintech advisor and former Group CIO of UBS, Nick as the CEO and Founder of Credits  – we have no doubt about the technology’s potential to radically transform the financial industry.

A far better way to build and maintain interconnected ledgers – the heart of the financial system – it seems predestined for the job.… Read More