#SIBOS Insights: AI and Cognitive in Finserv

BNP Paribas is still keeping a low profile compared to their digitization footprint.
I knew about their digital Bank, Hello Bank, founded in 2013.
I also knew about their collaboration with crowdfunding Fintech Smart Angels (a French online angel network) that will allow private companies to issue securities on the primary market and give investors access to the secondary market using block chain technology (already mentioned in our coverage of Blockchain emerging use cases in capital markets in May 2016). I also mentioned early this week on the Fintech Genome about the public announcement of the issuance of mini-bonds on a blockchain of BNP Paribas.

At a packed Innotribe session at SIBOS, I met the head of BNP Paribas AI lab. This is a strategic (IMHO) and innovative setup. Edouard D’Archimbaud with his team works from a segregated garage setup and explained why BNP Paribas is focused on and gave three concrete applications already developed.
On the WHY (very much Apple like approach) he mentioned:

  • Our Clients need it; much like all users of Google, clients are expecting it from banks
  • We live in a exponential world. Speed is accelerating
  • Our business is shifting; we are in an information world; Finserv is shifting from managing financial contracts-assets of our clients TOwards managing information and data processing.
  • AI is our DNA; in the banking world, the business has been to provide best advice; especially in corporate relationships it is complex; so contextualizing and discovering insights in data is the key.

Edouard, said that he views Data as a Diamond (not Gold). Data-Diamond, has value that comes from its structure. The multi-dimensional aspect of a diamond is key.

AI is a Darwinian process.

At last a session that blockchain wasn’t stealing the show! Earlier today, I attended the packed plenary session “Cognitive business and the future of financial services” that allowed the CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty to take most of the space on stage. I don’t understand why she was accompanied from CEO of UBS, Sergio Ermotti on this topic. Shouldn’t it have been somebody like Microsoft or Google maybe?
She spent a serious amount of time, off topic (i.e. not on cognitive but on blockchain) and inquired whether “Will Blockchain will to transactions; what the internet did for information?”
Then she switched to the what she sees as the current era, the cognitive era that will allows us to run better bsuinesses since we will be able ti extract value from the almost 80% hidden data treasures (as she pointed out). We are already shifting from the Programmable era to the Cognitive one. And she especially, referred to the fact there is a lot to be done in the back office with cognitive computing.