Mariojose Palma is a Florida based Artificial Intelligence Expert. Apart from his expertise in AI, he has successfully developed software applications for his clients throughout his career. An advent believer of the fact that AI is there to change the world for the good, Mariojose has written a famous blog ‘COVID-19 scenario planning using Artificial Intelligence’.
In this Interview, he discusses in detail the application of AI in various sectors and what AI holds in future for us.
Mariojose, Thank you for talking with us. Kindly describe your journey as an Entrepreneur so far.
This great journey started at the age of 15 years old when I began designing websites and developing applications which could play my favorite online games and of course win my friends because while I was sleeping or studying, my computer would be playing for me. Since that moment without me consciously knowing, I was trying to emulate human behavior through a machine to get certain actions as a response.
Later on, I started to work with different companies in my home country Venezuela, where they had the need to automatize processes taking data from different sources and with that data have the application make different decisions on its own.
One of the most interesting projects I worked on in my US first years was to develop an application which would obtain and show cars and boats real-time data in a user-friendly manner to make better decisions. In that time, I formally learned a lot about AI and how to apply it in a large-scale project considering smaller time frames where we would make it possible to get real-time data in 300 milliseconds which at the time was considered an “impossible” thing to achieve.
Currently I find myself working as a consultant for several companies in the financial and real state fields most of the time.
They way we perceive AI and ML has changed rapidly in the last few years. In your view, how things have changed in the last few years.
In my opinion, AI has substantially grown in the past few years. It just didn’t exist before, as a programmer you were limited to certain conditioning elements (ifs and else) to make a software work based on the current data but that did not mean it was an intelligent software as we see it now.
It is incredible the high number of Artificial intelligence frameworks that’s been born and keep getting better in only five years like TensorFlow, Keras and Cognitive Tools from Microsoft. These frameworks help to a great extent to comprehend how to solve AI problems without having the need of diving in each and every neuron of the neural network. The way AI has evolved makes me believe that with today’s tools it is possible to construct superior and stronger solutions, not only for high-end companies but for everybody in a very near future.
How can AI revolutionize health sector? Do you see its potential in the fight against Covid 19?
It seem to me AI could be of great help in the health sector specially in the preventive side due to the large amount of data a single person can have, considering all the family history for example, it is humanly impossible to analyze all the data from everyone, that is the reason AI will revolutionize this industry satisfying the need for more accurate percentages and patterns. Imagine how helpful would be for health care providers to view on their screens the key points of the patient they are about to see, that indeed would help recognize patters of symptoms and catch up with any disease in its early development.
In the case of already existing diseases like Covid-19 AI would be crucial because as I mentioned before the large amount of data that needs to be processed in order to find the best solution takes a lot of time and it is just impossible for humans to do it faster, in the meantime people die, AI is going to be essential in the fight of viruses like Covid-19.
In your experience, which sector has best used the powers of AI? Also, what are some of the untapped powers of AI?
I would definitely say the automotive industry is one of the pioneers using AI since we now have self-driving cars available for the public to buy. Cybersecurity of course, implements AI to detect credit cards frauds based on the transactions data, to name one.
The education industry could take a great deal of advantages from AI taking into consideration each and every student’s data, how does he learn? what does he likes best to learn? which is the best way he learns more? Is he a visual learner? Is he a participation-focus learner? There are so many things to be considered so our students can perform at their best, therefore AI will be a teacher’s best friend in order for them to personalize education and reward each student the proper way to maximize their outcome.
There are concerns around how AI can be detrimental to certain sectors. Moreover, there are fears around the possible misuse of the powers of AI. Are these fears justified?
As every new industry has faced in their beginnings with difficulties due to the instant and natural rejection we feel towards the unknown, AI industry is not the exception owing to the apparent fear of AI overtaking most of our jobs, such as repetitive kinds of jobs where machines take over, this staff needs to reroute and find a more challenging job which the machine itself can’t do, for instance controlling or repairing the machines.
The dark side of AI is not the AI itself but the humans behind it. AI could be wonderful or it could be dangerous if it ends up in the wrong hands, what I mean is that the same AI used in cybersecurity that prevents a credit card fraud could be used to actually perform the fraud, “attack” applications, servers, etc. What’s more there’s something called “Deep fake” which is an AI able to make any public person’s face “say” what you want, with the person’s voice and expressions. The way it works is by allowing you to video tape yourself saying whatever you want to say and the AI will transform that into the celebrity or public person of your choice, as a consequence in the near future we are not going to know for sure if what we are watching was recorded indeed by that person.
What future Trends do you see in Software Development?
In my view the trends will be towards developing applications with AI to communicate with us as if they were humans too. For example, the bots used in customer service call centers which sometimes are helpful and most of the time annoying, in this new trend, humans are not going to identify whether they are talking to a human or a bot, making this calls a lot more satisfactory and keeping the wait times very low. On the other hand, the people working on call centers are going to encounter the AI threat.
What suggestion would you like to give to someone who wants to make a career in AI and ML?
If you ask me, I think anyone who wants to learn can do so, there’s so much information on the internet and YouTube, anyone could learn anything. I’m not saying you’ll become an AI expert in one day, week or even a year but you will definitely have a better understanding on AI. I’ve been working in the AI industry for over five years and I keep learning with every project I involve myself in and It excites me that there’s still a lot more to be discovered.
Perspectico Launches AI-based Job preparation platform for college graduates
The spread of the novel coronavirus has interrupted how graduates were preparing to enter the job market. Uncertainty about job opportunities and disruption to regular routines has led students to a stressful job search. To provide ease to students, Perspectico, an edtech startup launches AI-Based job preparation platform for college graduates. With this launch, the startup aims to create a positive job ecosystem for 2cr college students.
Launching the AI-Based Preparation Platform, Nikhil Chainani – Founder; Perspectico commented, “With our research &development we have seen that college graduates when looking for a job becomes very confused as most of the job platforms are scattered. Keeping this in mind, we built this common tech platform that will help not only have all the details on job opening but it will also prepare them to find their right job thus providing the right direction & guidance so that they can shine in their respective careers.”
This job preparation platform is India’s first relevant and guided job preparation tool. This will help the students with all the recommendations and evaluation which is required to get fully prepared for the job market.
The highlight of AI-based the platform is that it provides a market place for job openings across India to the college graduates on a real-time basis. In case students profile is not suitable, the AI Engine recommends the online course to improve their areas that need attention. A student can also undertake a self-evaluation test to measure competencies. These tests include subjective, MCQ &Situational test.
In addition, students are provided with Preparation materials, in-house courses, mentorship and interview guidance.
How AI is Transforming Insurtech
Technological advancements are continuing to transform the way we live, work, and get insurance. The insurance industry is being disrupted by tools designed to improve efficiency and accuracy; this evolution has been dubbed insurtech, and startups across the country and globe are implementing AI into their insurance coverage process.
One of the biggest benefits for utilizing artificial intelligence in the insurance sector is risk mitigation. Computers can scour through data to make more informed decisions in seconds.
Keeping reading to learn about how artificial intelligence is improving processes in the insurance industry.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
To understand how AI is transforming insurance it’s important to understand what artificial intelligence is and the many ways it can be beneficial in risk mitigation.
Artificial intelligence is a technology that helps computers solve problems and think rationally, similar to how humans make decisions. Computers can scour through tons of data to make a rational decision based on facts and critical thinking way faster than a human ever could.
Two of the most popular sectors of AI are deep learning and machine learning. Machine learning predicts outcomes and weighs risks by analyzing data to find trends and predict future outcomes. For example, a car insurance company could use data around specific age groups and genders to predict driving patterns.
Deep learning improves speed and efficiency by teaching computers to lead by example. Artificial neural networks help computers complete tasks that human workers would normally accomplish, allowing workers to focus on more high-level tasks and spend less time on repetitive ones.
Artificial Intelligence and Insurance
AIs main goal is to teach machines to make trusted, accurate decisions that are free from human error. This makes insurtech especially valuable to insurance companies who can save big by predicting outcomes and identifying risks.
Here are some of the ways insurtech companies are utilizing AI today:
- Automated underwriting
AI is improving speed and efficiency in consumer insurance through automated underwriting. This is speeding up the claims process by having customers file claims directly online rather than talking to an insurance agent. Users can submit photos of an accident and the automated underwriting software can assess damage cost instantly. Other features of automated underwriting include built-in claim tracking and reporting. SAAS software makes this possible, paper-less, and free from human error.
- Preventing Fraud and Blocking Hacking
Insurtech is also helping prevent insurance fraud. The FBI estimates that approximately $40 billion is stolen through insurance fraud each year, which in turn actually raises all customer rates while also impacting business costs. AI can track irregular customer behaviors and claims to identify fraud in real time. The technology can also help block hacking.
- Adding Personalization to Solutions
No two accidents are ever the same. Insurtech allows carriers and customers to personalize their solutions. If someone had a bad driving history but has since changed their behavior, they can request an AI tracking application to analyze their driving and then generate a rate based on current behavior. Safe drivers would be less risky to insure and be charged a lower rate.
- Offering 24/7 Accessibility for Customers
Another thing that artificial intelligence can provide is 24/7 access without having to employ 24/7 staff. Accidents can happen anytime but chat box software allows customers to get information (even at 3 a.m. on a Monday) without having to get an agent on the line. This allows insurance companies to provide around-the-clock value while saving big on staffing costs.
Artificial intelligence allows insurance companies to make faster, more informed decisions while also speeding up their processes, all to the benefit of the customer. Accurate risk mitigation ultimately gets customers more accurate rates and helps insurance companies save.
To learn about the startups that are utilizing AI to transform the insurance industry check out the infographic from The Zebra below!
FICO Survey: Only 30% of Taiwanese Banks Believe AI Will Stop More Money Laundering
- Only 30 percent of Taiwanese banks believe AI will stop more money laundering.
- 78 percent of Taiwanese banks still believe in older rules-based technology for AML compliance, despite 26 percent saying that they experience significant struggles modifying these systems.
- In Taiwan, 83 percent of banks said they will invest in financial crime compliance in the year ahead and 9 percent plan to significantly increase this investment in 2021.
A recent survey by global analytics software firm FICO has revealed that only 30 percent of Taiwanese banks believe AI will strengthen anti-money laundering efforts, showing they are yet to be convinced of the benefits and that many remain unsure how to operationalize the advanced technology.
Conversely, when asked about the efficacy of much older rules-based technology, 64 percent of Taiwanese banks say they still believe in the ability of these AML systems, despite 26 percent saying they experience significant struggles modifying them.
“Rules-based compliance systems continue to the be the workhorse for banks in Asia Pacific when fighting financial crime,” said Timothy Choon, FICO’s Financial Crimes Leader in Asia Pacific. “While the majority of Taiwanese banks are still skeptical, a growing number of early adopters are actively exploring and testing the new world of AI and realize that the decade-old rules-based systems can’t keep up with sophisticated threats on their own.
“The secret sauce is operationalizing advanced AI technology and making it work side-by-side with the rules-based systems. In fact, 20 percent of respondents picked this as their principal obstacle in meeting financial crime risk mitigation targets.”
The survey showed that the key challenges for existing AML compliance solutions regionally were: the ability to meet new types of compliance risks in channels and products; the capacity to provide an end-to-end integrated compliance solution; and the facility to update quickly to changes in regulation.
Across Asia Pacific, larger multinational banks were more likely to use a vendor solution for AML, while the use of an in-house system was more common with domestic banks.
Key drivers of financial crime strategy
One of the leading indicators driving change in financial crime strategy is customer experience. Over two-in-five respondents ranked this in their top considerations with 17 percent of Asia Pacific banks citing it as the primary factor behind their current and future approach.
“We can see that addressing the competing needs of regulatory compliance and customer experience remains a balancing act for most institutions,” said Choon. “Banks are challenged by the need for more information to deal with high rates of alerts from ineffective systems, while not vexing customers with incessant due diligence questions.”
Additional considerations ranked second and third by banks included, reputation damage and direct financial losses. When it came to financial crime challenges almost half of respondents cited the speed of responding to new threats, while a third believe achieving accurate detection remains a significant test.
Investment in compliance technology
A significant majority of banks (93%) across Asia Pacific are likely to continue their technology spend on either upgrading or enhancing their compliance systems. However, in the key regional financial centres of Singapore and Hong Kong only two-thirds of respondents indicated that their banks are likely to start new investments in compliance technology, likely due to their more significant spend in this area in recent years.
In Taiwan, 83 percent of banks said they will continue to invest in compliance in the year ahead but only 9 percent plan to significantly increase this investment in 2021.
Overall levels of investment in compliance technology by banks in Asia Pacific are expected to rise in 2021. 49 percent of respondents said budgets will increase, with an additional 34 percent expecting a significant increase. Interestingly, foreign banks are more inclined towards new spend compared with domestic counterparts. Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines were the markets that said they would invest the most in 2021.
“This survey, conducted in May, shows that even in the recent economic downturn triggered by the pandemic, banks remain committed to targeted spending that boosts their AML compliance defenses,” said Choon. “There is an increased willingness to perceive compliance and fraud as a common financial crime risk – a fraudster is more likely to launder money, and vice versa.
“This convergence is a global trend. Banks in the US and UK are well on their way to fully integrating their compliance and fraud functions, bringing together teams, leaders and technologies. We believe banks in Asia Pacific are looking to these markets to see what will work, with plans to follow quickly in the next 24-36 months.”
FICO’s Integrated AML Compliance Survey was produced in May 2020 using an online, quantitative poll of 256 senior executives from banks across eleven countries carried out on behalf of FICO by an independent research company. The countries surveyed were Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
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