Visit our new website:

How artificial intelligence is shaking up the financial industry

  • Tue, 29 Aug 2017 01:12

Singapore is betting on robo-advisory services to boost people’s prospects on the stock market

Young people use their smartphones in various locations around Phnom Penh

This article was published in the August edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here

Human financial advisors may keep their jobs for a while, but they would be well advised to start considering a new career. On 7 June, Singapore’s regulatory body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, released a consultation paper on how it planned to “facilitate the provision of robo-advisory services” in the city-state.

By cutting out the need for human intermediaries, the online, automated portfolio management services, which can often be accessed through mobile applications, have “the potential to improve consumers’ access to low-cost investment advice”. It is the reason given by MAS for promoting such services, though the regulatory body likely has its eye on becoming a leader in an industry that professional services firm Deloitte recently predicted will manage $ 16 trillion worth of assets by 2025.

However, in the eyes of Shankar Narayanan, co-founder of Singapore-based Active AI, such services are not advanced enough to do away with homo sapiens quite yet: a human analysing the insights of an advanced algorithm was the best option for now, he said.

Young people use their smartphones in various locations around Phnom Penh

Narayanan’s company is one of many that have decided to focus their attention on the immediate future by developing artificial intelligence that allows people to communicate with their banks more naturally through a mixture of informal texts and voice recordings, referred to as unstructured micro-conversations. The software powering these companies automatically corrects for spelling errors and is able to respond with contextual chit chat: where computers of yesteryear might have said “affirmative”, these robots might say “cool, no worries”.

“The future of engagement will be in unstructured micro-conversations,” he said. “AI-powered conversational banking will enable banks to have intuitive customer engagement, which will create opportunities for banks to offer creative products and solutions to their customers.”

Narayanan added that the technology has the potential to help the region’s fintech players overcome the challenge of low user adoption by allowing them to ask questions about new technologies in an exchange that more closely resembles a human conversation than perusing an FAQ section or watching a video tutorial.

“AI can power agent-to-institution communication, knowledge access and transactions in a completely unstructured data format,” he said. “This will enable agents to be effective and empowered. Given that this can be done over voice or messaging interfaces in multiple languages it makes the proposition of last mile connection easier.”

Southeast Asia Globe Magazine


US Weekly

Related Stories

Long thought to have been Cambodia's capital during a 'dark...
  • Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:22

Phnom Penh Post - Long thought to have been Cambodia's capital during a 'dark age', digs are unearthing Longvek's place as a centre of...

Tulip mania: the classic story of a Dutch financial bubble is mostly wrong
  • Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:41

Floraes Mallewagen (Flora’s wagon of fools): Hendrik Gerritsz Pot, c1640 (photo: Laura Blanchard), CC BY-SA Anne Goldgar, King’s College ...

Germany puts pressure on Cambodia, ending preferential visa...
  • Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:20

The Reichstag, which houses the lower house of the Germain parliament, in Berlin. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently disclosed to parliam...

Girls Who Code, Boys Who Cook: Cambodia’s Future Leaders
  • Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:34

On the day we arrived in Cambodia earlier this month, the front-page headlines in the Phnom Penh Post touted new amendments to the country’s constit...

Ex-Khmer Rouge Official Converts to Christianity Guided by Pastor She Once Enslaved
  • Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:19

Washington — Im Chaem, a former Khmer Rouge official who was charged by a United Nations-backed tribunal with crimes against humanity including mass...

Nigeria:Nigeria, Global Agencies Agree to Fight Illicit Financial Flows in Africa
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:25

[Premium Times] With current estimated loss by Africa through illicit financial flows put at over $ 80 billion annually, Nigeria on Thursday agreed t...

[Herald Interview] ‘Industry needs to do more to fight illegal fishing, labor abuses’
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 16:24

Few in South Korea would imagine that the fish they bought today at a cheap price might have been illegally taken or sto 코리아헤럴드

MotoGP riders get to grips with the Buriram circuit. Andrea Dovizioso fourth and Jorge Lorenzo tenth after first day of official testing in Thailand (Industry Press Releases)
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:07

Today the 2018 grid of MotoGP riders took to the track for the first time at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram for three days of testing in p...

British film industry at a defining point in its history
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 11:34

As the British film industry prepares for its biggest celebration of the year, it finds itself at a defining point in its history according to some of...

Poker Players Alliance Calls for Financial Donations
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 11:00

For the first time in the organization’s history, the Poker Players Alliance has sent out a desperation call for donations to aid in their work. Af...

UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimize spill risk
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 10:18

Strict controls would be 'a necessity' to minimize the risk of spills and leaks from any future UK shale gas industry, according to new research. To...

2 more Westerners freed in Cambodian 'dirty dancing' case
  • Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:27

Two more Westerners arrested in Cambodia for allegedly posting photos on social media of sexually suggestive dancing have been released, leaving only ...

News Categories