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FFCON20 Week 7 Wrap-up: Artificial Intelligence in Fintech

NCFA Canada | Samuel He | August 2, 2020

AI in your daily life - FFCON20 Week 7 Wrap-up: Artificial Intelligence in Fintech


Innovation in technology has been rising at an unprecedented pace in today’s day and age. There is no doubt that technological advancements with artificial intelligence will play a key role in all sectors, which includes financial services. This session features a keynote describing the roles that technology plays in an individual’s life, a panel on consumer-centric technologies and governance, and a panel discussing how AI is transforming the financial services sector.

Keynote: AI Implementation in China: A Day in the Life in Shanghai (info | video)

In this session, Rich Turrin walks us through a day in his life in Shanghai and the role that technology plays. One notable role is with payment. Rich says that people in Shanghai has pretty much gone cash-free and most use either WeChat Pay or AliPay, which functions by scanning a QR code and utilizing the built-in facial recognition system. Additionally, Rich uses technology for speech to text translation, which helps in rideshare apps like Didi which has a built-in messaging and translation system to aid communication. Technology is also utilized in the creation of a COVID-19 monitor, which uses AI to track and trace COVID-19 and predict who might have the virus. Rich wants to emphasize that one should not see artificial intelligence as a cold war and ask, “Who is winning the AI race?” but rather embrace that innovation in AI is ultimately a good thing that brings a lot more benefits.

“This is not a cold war” – Rich Turrin, on the AI arms race


Panel: Consumer-centric AI Technologies, Governance and Experiences (info | video)

In this panel, the speakers discuss the impact of innovation within AI and technology and the importance of consumer-centric governance. With large data available created by users, machine learning can be used to extract a lot of significant insights. Unfortunately, it is mostly big companies who have access to majority of the data, which is a problem because smaller companies don’t have this access to utilize. The panelists believe that in order for AI to be implemented on a large scale in financial services, their trust must be won by the consumers. An important aspect is that consumers should be able to reap the benefits of using the technology without having to give away data. In essence, one’s digital “self” is not controlled by the individual but rather controlled by big companies, which can be problematic. The panelists believe strongly in the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency, which promises sovereignty over digital interactions.

"One’s digital self is not actually controlled by the individual" - Alex Tapscott


Panel: How AI is Transforming How We Interact with Financial Institutions (info | video)

This session featured panelists who discussed the different ways in which AI has transformed how we interact with financial institutions. From the consumer perspective, RoboAdvisors has helped with the financial service experience and AI has increased efficiency done on background checks. Additionally, banks have their own apps, with automated bots used both for security measures as well as answering customers’ questions, all done with machine learning. The panelists believe a key challenge that AI/Fintech need to address before mass adoption is to promote open banking, creating policy where consumers own their data instead of third-party institutions. Essentially, a landscape has to be created which puts the customer at the forefront.


Artificial intelligence is a field that will certainly play a key role in our lives going forward. Instead of focusing on potential threats of AI as it relates to an arms race between countries, it is important to embrace the innovation and see all the benefits that AI has brought to our lives. The developments in AI has led to a lot of consumer-generated data, and it is important to put the consumer at the front and in control of the data. This helps bridge the gap between the user and the financial institution to positively usher in the new wave that is artificial intelligence.

Continue to watch the FFCON20 Session Recordings --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 Week 7 Wrap-up: Artificial Intelligence in Fintech The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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