Ethical Ai in Fintech

18 January 2021

Alastair Lumley – Account Director, Netpremacy

A new year brings new trends and motives. Be that your own personal ambition to cut down on alcohol for January or not eating meat. Whether it’s to get out and exercise more or whether it’s career progression, we all have aspirations at the start of the year…..and so does the tech industry.

One of the big topics this year I can see having sat on a number of webinars and read numerous blogs is Ai but more importantly the ethical use of Ai.

Ai is becoming such a big part of what we do, whether it’s generating a personal suggestion stream on Netflix….or deciding if your credit rating is good enough to provide a loan. This is why it’s as important as ever to ensure that it’s used in an ethical and correct way. There are boundaries we need to set when using Ai, and these need to be understood correctly and adhered to. So much work has been done globally to improve equality, we need to ensure that everything we do meets this standard.

What is Ai?

Ai can be defined as:

  • A computer or a robot controlled by a computer being able to perform similar tasks as any other highly intelligent living being

  • Simulation of human intelligence processes by computers which includes learning, logical reasoning, or problem-solving

If used correctly it can have a number of benefits:

  • Offering better Customer Service through tailored, personal recommendations

  • Protecting business through analysing historical data & mistakes and using technology to learn from those mistakes

  • Automate the manual process and improve operational efficiency

  • Reducing Human Error improving results & outcomes

  • Holding us all accountable based on the data!

If you would like to learn more on Ai, we’ve created a White Paper that goes into a deep dive on the subject.

Ai in Fintech

If we look at the Financial Industry and how Ai can be applied, it really opens us up to some great products which is why the Fintech industry is thriving and one of the most exciting to be involved in.

Use Cases for Ai in Finance :

  • Fraud Detection: Analyse anomalies against historical data to detect fraudulent activity both for the business and consumer

  • Credit Scoring: More accurately provide a credit rating improving the application process resulting in more reliable & accurate decisions

  • Personalised Products: Can we use Ai to offer personalised financial advice based on our spending patterns, age, salary etc..

  • Focused Saving: Using Ai to generate automatic savings based on our spending patterns.

  • Business Protection: Are we taking on customers who are a risk?

  • Better customer service by analysing support calls & monitoring trending queries getting ahead of the curve

These aren’t necessarily new use cases and by no means an exhaustive list, some are already being executed extremely well by the major players in Fintech but also up and comers as well. However with such a broad range of use cases and its increasing involvement in one of the most integral industries, surely we need to make sure Ai is being used in an ethical way?

So what is Ethical Ai & how do we ensure we are using it correctly?

Ethical Ai is pretty much what it says on the tin, Ai that adheres to certain rules, responsibilities & accountability to ensure the decisions it makes & the suggestions it produces are free from bias and unethical thinking, making sound & accurate decisions that have a benefit.

We have to remember the power technology now has, how much of an influential part of society it has now become, and ultimately how much we need to control it. It’s therefore important to ensure as we develop these Ai algorithms & machine learning models, they are based on sound ethics and principles to ensure they are not biased, prejudiced or operating unfairly.

Fortunately, a lot of research has been done into Ethical Ai & principles to stick to, and as a Google Cloud Premier Partner we learn from the best, from people who are at the forefront of innovation.

Google has a number of pages that go into ethical AI and the principles to adhere to but I wanted to highlight the key ones that they stick to as if it works for Google, it should be somewhat a golden standard for the rest of us.

1. Be socially beneficial.
2. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias.
3. Be built and tested for safety.
4. Be accountable to people.
5. Incorporate privacy design principles.
6. Uphold high standards of scientific excellence.
7. Be made available for uses that accord with these principles.

Why is it so important we adhere to Ethical Ai in Finance?

The Financial industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and one that has to constantly be held to account, surely our use of Ai should follow suit? If we get it wrong it can have catastrophic effects as we’ve all either witnessed, studied at school, or read in the news.

If we generate Ai models that start to become corrupt, use unethical data sources and make decisions that are wrong, we are not learning from our mistakes and merely leaving ourselves open for an even bigger crash in the future.

This is why it’s imperative that the Ai models we create learn from our own mistakes, we don’t use it to justify supplying products to those who aren’t suitable for them. We used it to analyse the vast amount of historical data we have, make unemotional, unbiased decisions that ultimately benefit us all in the long run.

Used correctly Ai is an extremely powerful tool and without a doubt one of the biggest enablers in every industry. This is why it’s so important we stick to the principles above, technology is meant to make a difference, not open us up to a faster way to repeat the past and at a potentially larger scale.

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, this is something Netpremacy can help with. With a team of experienced Data Engineers and Scientists, Netpremacy has helped deploy numerous Ai projects. This has helped develop our understanding of Ai projects, how to correctly develop algorithms to ensure they remain true, the data is clean and the results are fair.


If you’d like to know more about Ai reach out to me on alumley@netpremacy.com to see how Netpremacy can help with your Ai journey.

02 December 2020

The energy and utility sector is something most of us take for granted. We pay them for warm showers and to heat our homes, and no doubt we will all be reaching for the thermostat over the long winter months ahead to keep us extra cosy. However, behind the scenes, these companies have to embrace digital transformation and harvest massive amounts of data in order to grow, evolve, and meet the demands of the future. 

The industry is constantly up against challenges; from pressure to reduce emissions, increasing demand, and providing competitive prices to their consumers. Google Cloud has a wide range of industry-leading and energy-specific solutions aimed at helping these businesses digitise faster, and respond to these demands. 

Why data is important for digital transformation

The most valuable asset many companies have is data, and in order to be successful, energy providers must adapt to change, stay current, and realise this. They need to be able to store, read, and analyse data properly, in order to gain a competitive advantage and solve complex business challenges. 

Google’s BigQuery can help businesses bring different data sets together in order to gain those insights, and Google’s AI-powered solutions are the key to unlocking analytics capabilities within your data sets. In this case study, you can learn how Energyworx, an energy supplier in the Netherlands, uses GCP and smart analytics to harvest their data to better plan for future energy demand, and find ways their customers can save on their electricity use. 

If you would like to learn how to use smart analytics to help your business grow and evolve, download our Smart Analytics White Paper here.

A deeper dive into AI and ML energy-specific solutions

Powerful AI models use data analytics to provide actionable insights, and these models can help inspections at scale. This is extremely useful for energy and utility companies who have large areas they need to monitor, such as energy grids, wind farms, or solar panels. Google Cloud’s Visual Inspection solution reduces inspection times without compromising on safety or accuracy and makes organisations more efficient and sustainable. 

Businesses also have the ability to build their own custom Machine Learning model with minimal effort and little to no Machine Learning experience. 

AES is a Fortune 500 global power company that distributes sustainable energy in 15 countries. Their asset inventory is phenomenal, with a value of over £33 billion. They use Machine Learning and drone technology in their wind farms to monitor, manage, and maintain their assets. 

This was the perfect solution, as it was in keeping with their greener vision and they were able to massively scale using Google’s powerful infrastructure. Learn more about their custom made solution powered by Google Cloud’s AutoML Vision here.


For most modern energy and utility companies, contributing to greater customer satisfaction is also an important identifier for success.

AI models like Contact Centre AI allows agents to assist with customer requests more efficiently, leading to shorter call times and improved outcomes, with much quicker resolutions. Learn more about Google Clouds CCAI and how companies are using this technology to modernise.

A smart future for the energy industry

Smart meters are the latest innovation to tackle the biggest challenges facing the industry today. By 2024, almost 77% of EU households will have one installed*. 

This new technology brings multiple benefits such as delivering automated, real-time readings, giving consumers access to their own data; and being able to identify faulty appliances, reducing downtime, and enabling repair staff to be efficient and effective with their time. They also improve the awareness of energy consumption, allowing individual households and businesses to reduce their energy use and generate savings.

Of course, with all new technology advancements, comes an influx of data. Energy companies need a scalable data warehouse to be able to import, process, and anaylse this data. Google Cloud’s BigQuery streams data in real-time and can predict business outcomes with powerful built-in ML models; plus it runs on Google’s infrastructure and is a managed service, meaning companies spend less time developing technology and can focus on their service instead. Read how Halsfund, the largest power company in Norway, uses GCP and BigQuery for the new smart meter network here.

Being a successful energy and utilities company today requires the right technology to solve big business problems. However, in order to truly succeed, you must make the right decisions for your business by making the most of the information you gather.

Now you know what you can do with your data, are you using it to the best of your advantage?

Speak to one of our data experts and we can help you implement this technology and show you how to use it. Contact us here.


*By 2024 almost 77% of EU households will have a smart meter installed, European Commission 

 

28 April 2020

Google has announced 4 new updates to improve the user experience on Google Meet

 

Now more than ever, businesses are relying on video conferencing. It is important that the technology we use allows for easier interaction, keeping focused and staying productive. Google has recently announced a number of updated features on Google Meet (previously Hangouts Meet), for all G Suite customers, which will improve the quality of meetings and the overall user experience. 

One of the most anticipated updates is the expanded Tile View layout. This enables the user to view up to 16 people at a time – previously you could only see four. This update feature has already proved popular here at Netpremacy, as it makes virtual meetings more inclusive and facilitates collaborative viewing. We have also been able to inject a bit of fun into our daily catch-ups with fancy dress and a quick game of “guess the movie”. More updates are in the works for larger meetings, better presentation layouts, and support across more devices, so watch this space for more!

 
Google will be gradually rolling out the extended tile view feature for our Enterprise customers from Wednesday 22nd April 2020

 

Our CSS team is known for wearing many hats – here is the proof!

 

Guess the movie in our morning standup!

 

As well as the tiled layout for larger calls, Google has also worked on more technical advancements to improve meeting quality. Noise cancellation AI will work to limit sounds in the background so your meetings can run smoothly, without any distractions. This will be available for G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers in the coming weeks, starting with web users and later rolling out to mobile users.

The new low-light mode also uses Google AI to adjust your video automatically, so you are more visible to other participants in low-light conditions. The new software enhances your video and brings out details that would have been too dark or difficult to see otherwise. This feature will gradually be rolled out, starting with mobile users, and will be available to web users soon after.

The final update Google has announced is the ability to present higher-quality video content with audio. There is now an option to present a Chrome tab, as well as presenting a window or the entire screen. Presenting a Chrome tab shares the audio on that tab by default, so if you have remote viewers and you need to share a video, this is the best option for the ultimate audio experience. This feature is rolling out to general availability from Wednesday 22nd April 2020.

As Google’s 2019 Global Partner of the Year for Work Transformation Enterprise, we are committed to helping businesses excel. We are currently offering free Google Meet licenses and deployment services, available to new businesses from now until 30th September 2020. Find out more here

Benefits include:

  • Easy to use console
  • Secure end-to-end encryption
  • Enterprise security
  • Up to 1TB of Google Drive Storage
  • Live streaming up to 100,000 internal participants
  • Zero install requirement

 

For more information or to book in your complimentary installation, contact us on: info@netpremacy.com. If you have any questions or would like a discussion to learn more, please contact us here: netpremacy.com/contact-us.

 

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27 June 2019

Netpremacy’s Highlights: Women of Silicon Roundabout

At Netpremacy we’re committed to enabling the continual learning and development of our team. This week we attended the annual Women of Silicon Roundabout event with the intention to gain insight on emerging technology trends such as Machine Learning, AI and much more. 

Women of Silicon Roundabout

Ashley, Bryonie and Francesca from the Netpremacy team joined the 6,000 strong community of Women in Tech at ExCel, London to attend workshops, keynotes, seminars and networking events. This was to explore the cutting edge of technology and what it means for the future and in particular, what it means for women in the industry. It was fantastic to see so many like minded women in technology coming together under one roof. 

The morning of keynotes was introduced by Shephali Silitoe. There was a definite buzz in the busy keynote session as Shephali spoke about new roles that are actively changing the future and how we are now working towards “empowerment, action and change”.

The team thoroughly enjoyed the conference, below are just a few of the many highlights and inspiration that we took from the 2 days. 

Karren Brady  

Karren Brady NetpremacyThe first speaker of the day was the inspirational Karren Brady, who is well known for becoming the Managing Director of Birmingham City football club at the age of just 23 and embarking on a successful career in sport, media and politics. She is now seen on popular TV programme The Apprentice. Karren broke the rules and became one of the first female football bosses in history.

Karren went on to describe how she transformed the club from insolvency to financially robust in just a few short years without the assistance of day-to-day technologies that we all benefit from today. She spoke about how to run an effective business and said that “nothing is achieved alone, you have to work together”. 

 

Karren gave the audience 6 key ingredients to focus on to get the career that you want, these were; leadership, ambition, determination, attitude, direction, and to be positive.  

Machine Learning for Startups 

Machine LearningThis seminar brought to light how many businesses are developing machine learning processes into their infrastructure. Milly Leadley, a data scientist at Ravelin explained the two different ways that Machine Learning is commonly used.

Machine Learning is used in many B2C businesses for personalisation and usability for consumers, specifically in the health and wellbeing sector. A fantastic example of ML being used for health is Flo, an AI-powered health app for women,  that “learns” to become more accurate day by day, providing personalised daily health insights.

This is a great example of how ML is used to help improve the quality of life but is by no means relied on 100% for results or accuracy.

However Machine Learning in B2B businesses is different, people are paying for a service, and rely on the service to deliver security and accuracy. Machine Learning can be used to predict possible spammers on sites such as Deliveroo. This functionality is becoming more advanced and accurate with each use, trusted and more advanced, and is therefore sold as a business-critical service to businesses such as Deliveroo. 

This seminar was a great opportunity to see the two very different sides to Machine Learning, focusing on the consumer and the business. 

How are we preparing our businesses for jobs that don’t exist yet? 

Women of silicon roundabout Dayne Turbitt spoke about how collaborative AI is allowing us to move at a faster scale, and as a result businesses are adapting and changing so fast, that we need to make sure that we keep up. An example of this is AI chatbots, taking away the menial jobs from the humans so that we can focus more on being creative. 

Women of silicon roundabout gen z

We now have “the internet of things” which is allowing us to use data in ways that we have never used it before. 5G is an exciting technology that can be combined with innovations suc

h as autonomous cars which will change the future of transportation for humans, goods and more.

One question was raised. “Are we ready for Gen Z?” Young adults of today have grown up as digital natives from birth, living with technology as a touch point throughout their entire lives. They expect technology to be a seamless experience in every aspect. An interesting thought to consider…

Digital transformation in your organisation

Jo Hannaford from Goldman Sachs discussed how she was given the task to push digital transformation in her workplace over the short space of 9 months. 

Ashley ParkerShe spoke about how she did this successfully and how technology has evolved massively over the 25 years that she has been working for the business.

She described the agile processes they took up to make the digital transformation successful, and had to completely change the company’s mindset about working. She spoke about what digital transformation looks like when working at a bank and how they have to think about the data and processes in depth before beginning. 

This was not an easy project and took a lot of engineering and collaboration. But that is has created a place that has flexible and a more collaborative way of working. Jo mentioned that she does not focus on when people come and go, or if they work from home, and that the quality of the work matters more. This has become possible since moving to the cloud and undergoing a massive digital transformation. 

A great insight into how moving into the cloud is helping businesses from all over the globe to work in a more collaborative and successful environment. 

Digital transformation & the future of energy 

This was an eye opening and inspiring keynote that took place at the beginning of day 2. 

Women of silicon roundabout

BP’s global footprint is vast, supplying energy and fuel to over 72 countries around the world. This means that the company is working on a massive scale, and therefore needs to use powerful tools such as Machine Learning and Big Data to learn and develop in such a fast paced industry.

Claire Dickinson explained how BP are working towards one of the worlds biggest problems, climate change. She spoke around the enormous transformation our planet is going under. Dickinson said “You don’t get a bigger challenge than climate change” and went on to explain how BP are incorporating Big Data into locating the optimum areas for charging points for electric cars. This helps with reducing global warming. 

This session was a fantastic opportunity to see how AI and Big Data are helping to make the world a better place on such a large scale. 

Digital is democratic

In this incredibly personal and engaging keynote, Alison Clark spoke about wanting to deliver a positive human future – for everyone. She explained that “digital will make the world of work more democratic” 

Women of silicon roundabout

She mentioned all of the fantastic advancing technologies that are being built and used in today’s society, but how we now need to start looking at making these more accessible to everyone. This means people who may have visual or physical impairments. 

This was a great point, and is something that the industry should look towards next, making technology accessible to everyone. The inspiration for some of this drive, came directly from Alison’s personal life, as she has a young daughter with cerebral palsy. 

Data for good 

This seminar was one that really opened our eyes to the massive impact for good that data can be used for. 

The seminar began with an introduction into Machine Learning, how it works and how it is used to determine which plane you will be booked onto when you are booking a flight online. 

The seminar then took a more serious turn and began explaining money laundering, and how we are trying to track it today. There is usually always crime associated with money laundering to ‘clean’ the money and get it back into the banks. One of these ways is through human trafficking. 

We now have systems that when people are signing up for a bank that can check peoples records, see their connections and make the assumption on whether they should be allowed to bank. This does not completely stop the crimes taking place, but is a beginning to helping towards fighting money laundering and the crimes taking place because of it.

Women of silicon roundabout

At Netpremacy, we can’t put enough emphasis on the value of sharing insights and learning from our peers in such a fast-paced, competitive industry as technology is. We hope that our highlights of the incredible event ‘Women of Silicon Roundabout’ has provided valuable insight into the changing world of technology and the exciting opportunities it’s presenting for not only women, but everyone who is exploring the exciting world of technology. There’s no better time than now. 

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27 March 2019

Artificial intelligence white paper

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    5. Robotics
    6. Autonomous Machines
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  4. References

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