Fintech Nights #1: an evening of AI with the FD

Knowledge, Experience and Networking are the three pillars on which the “Fintech Nights” are based. The first edition of this new format launched by the Fintech District on 7th May was dedicated to artificial intelligence, a theme which is intensely connected with the development of the fintech sector but not only.

Since this is an exclusive initiative, reserved for our partners and those who bought tickets for the entrance, we will not retell everything but will let you peek at a few moments of Fintech Nights #1 through the keyhole. The evening began with an overview of how this technology is impacting many sectors, including the health sector with consequences that up to today we can only guess, which excite and, at the same time, frighten us.

Alessandro Longoni talked about it and remembering the ups and downs actually recorded in the history of artificial intelligence from 1952 when IBM unveiled its first commercially available scientific computer until 2016 when Google DeepMind’s ALPHAGO defeated Lee Sedol on a game of GO. Compared to previous years, the situation today is different. AI can continue to flourish. Indeed, it can do better thanks to the cheap processing power that allows you to process more data, thanks to the growing role of technologists in the development of AI and also to the large investments big tech are doing on it.

Let us take a look at who in practice develops and uses artificial intelligence. In Europe today there are 2,830 companies declaring to be AI Startups. With Antonio la Mura we have gone through the ranking of the countries with the highest number of AI startups: after the USA we find China and Israel. The first European country is the UK and Italy is in 19th position (Source: Artificial Intelligence – A strategy for European startups | Roland Berger, 2018).

In Europe, however, there is no lack of initiatives to support AI, France and Germany are among the most active countries and the European Commission is also working to promote the spread of AI. Thanks to the collaborations that Fintech District has established with international innovation hubs, at the first of our Fintech Nights we were able to tell about the startups in other countries offering interesting AI-based businesses including Feedzai (by Portugal Fintech), Lingua Custodia (by LHoFT), Yields (by B-Hive), 2021Tec.AI (by Copenhagen Fintech) and e-bot ( by Techquartier).

In the Fintech District community there are many startups that use AI. Our community manager Stefania Barbato has identified the 3 emerging trends investigating among the 111 startups – Robo-advisors, Alternative data and Cybersecurity – and has explained them through concrete examples, respectively Moneyfarm, FinScience and Talos.

Obviously, the following wave of AI and automation will transform financial services over the next few years. Mico Curatolo explained that companies using AI to improve business processes will reap clear competitive benefits. There are hundreds of opportunities that could be enabled by the deployment and development of AI in financial institutions.

So, how can I get hold of them and not be left behind? ING, CITI and AXA have done so in three different sectors by opening up and focusing on applied innovation, with excellent results. This can also happen in Italy with our support and it is not only a promise because we have the evidence: the Data Driven Competition.

The evening continued with the evocative and inspirational intervention of Samsung. Antonio Bosio (Product & Solutions Director for Samsung) excited the audience with a video showing how artificial intelligence can be a key factor for digital inclusion. Then he told about its impact on three different areas: languages, services and devices

Raffaele de Lucia (Manager of Watson and Cloud Acceleration Team IBM) introduced “IBM Watson, between false myths and great potential”. As the volume of data, digital transformation, and the pace of technological change accelerates, the ability of organizations and professionals to keep up and capitalize on the opportunities is becoming more challenging” he explained. “AI provides an opportunity to help professionals close this gap and harness the full potential of data by creating new tools to improve their work and outcome”. The use of Al is increasing but there are some difficult challenges concerning regulatory constraints and lack of technological skills to face.

Alessandro Vitale, Member of the Board of Coordination of the Task Force for AI in the PA and CEO of Conversate, explained his point of view. Vitale argues that 2019 is the year for large companies and banks to invest in AI in order to have a clear advantage over competitors in the coming years. AI offers new services and new ways of interacting with customers and initiates a structural change for banks. Those who use it can have many advantages but must face two non-trivial challenges, one organizational one, for setting up the collaboration man-algorithm, and one of the processes, because AI requires rapidity

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The evening ended with 5 startups from the community talking about how they actually use AI and how they aim to use it with future partners. We invite you to discover them on our community page and leave them to speak. In the following video pills, they share with us their thoughts on the future of AI


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Axyon AI

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Cardo AI

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After so many words, here is a roundup of images of the evening.

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