AI & Finance™ | News for the Week Ending 3/8/24

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Once again, we have a rather large and long list of financial artificial intelligence-related headlines and announcements this week. And once again, it’s only the beginning. 

For one thing, when you dig into the tenor of a lot of the financial AI announcements, you’ll find quite a few announcements of digital assistants, writing tools and research tools for content creators. Those are superficial applications of AI capabilities, especially the newfangled generative AI.

To understand what deeper applications of AI might look like in the financial space, look to other disciplines and economic sectors, like IT, particularly coding, biotech, materials and chemicals, where a great acceleration is occurring. 

Generative AI is not just creating intellectual property, it is already creating new technology as the IT sector leverages its ability to read and write languages with complicated syntax to create programming code. Coding previously was a highly skilled, time-consuming and painstaking process, but generative AI can radically reduce the amount of time it takes to produce software-based solutions to problems. As a result, expect a glut of new technology. 

Generative AI is also being brought to bear on the pharmaceutical formulation process. The technology’s ability to understand the relationships between elements and molecules will help accelerate the painstaking process of creating new drugs to treat and cure disease and improve the human condition. Generative AI can also be applied to other medical interventions like therapies and devices. As a result, expect an acceleration in the availability of treatments, health services and solutions in the near future. 

The capabilities that make AI’s biotechnology applications so promising carry over into materials science and chemistry. Think about the accelerated development of synthetic materials related to the world wars, space race and Cold War of the 20th century. Now imagine a similar peacetime acceleration driven by technology itself. AI has the ability to help industrial firms both improve the products available to consumers today and bring more products to the market more quickly than ever before. 

Now, before you proceed to our headlines, take a moment to consider: What will be the shape of this AI-driven “Great Acceleration” in the financial services industry? 

Below you’ll find info on 15 newsmakers for the past week.

READ ON…..


1. Asia Innovations Group 

In a groundbreaking move at the intersection of artificial intelligence and blockchain, Asia Innovations Group Limited (“ASIG” or the “Company”) & AI3 Labs proudly unveil a new partnership, building the world’s first live-streaming interactive NFTs powered by Generative AI. The Company will integrate AI3 Labs’ AI NFT products directly into its ecosystem of social entertainment apps that have over 700 million registered users across 150 regions. The new platform, spearheaded by cutting-edge rollup technology is developed in partnership with Caliber Venture Builder and introduces a suite of groundbreaking features set to transform the Web3 application domain. 

AI3 will use Caliber’s proprietary technology to deliver an intuitive Web2-like experience, facilitating gasless transactions and incorporating embedded wallet technology, made feasible through Account Abstraction and significantly reduced transaction costs. The roll-up technology, designed for scalability, currently supports 5,000 transactions per second (TPS) and is on a trajectory to exceed 100,000 TPS by 2025. 

The overarching goal of AI3 Labs is to decentralize the economic gains derived from AI creations by orchestrating them on a blockchain, ensuring optimal benefits for individual AI content creators. 

2. Bank of America 

Bank of America announced a record year for its patent portfolio, which has grown to nearly 6,600 granted patents and pending patent applications – a year-over-year increase of 13%, and an increase of nearly 70% since 2019. A record 644 patents were granted to the company last year, an increase of 54% compared to the total number of patents granted in 2019. As a result, the company rose from 75th to now 64th on the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Top 300 list of patent owners. 

Technology categories in which new patents were granted to Bank of America last year include information security, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, online and mobile banking, payments, data analytics and a new category: augmented and virtual reality. 

This record year of patents granted was made possible by Bank of America inventors around the world, who mirror the diversity of the bank’s clients. Bank of America has more than 7,300 inventors across 42 U.S. states and 14 countries, with 26% of them being women. Worldwide, fewer than 17% of inventors are women. 

3. Box 

Box, a Content Cloud, announced a new integration with Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to bring its advanced large language models to Box AI. The integration of Azure OpenAI Service enables Box customers to benefit from the most advanced AI models in the world, while bringing Box and Microsoft’s enterprise-grade standards for security, privacy, and compliance to this groundbreaking technology. Box also announced that Box AI is generally available to customers on Enterprise Plus plans, starting today. 

Guided by its AI Principles, Box has built Box AI on the company’s platform-neutral framework, allowing it to connect with today’s most powerful large language models. By integrating with Azure OpenAI Service, Box is applying the most advanced intelligence models to its Content Cloud to further advance enterprise-grade AI. Microsoft and Box already help customers meet strict compliance requirements like FINRA, GxP, and FedRAMP. With today’s announcement, they will also empower organizations across highly-regulated industries to leverage AI for new use cases. For example, financial services companies can extract insights from reports in Box, that include market trends, economic indicators, and historical financial data, to provide a summary of key findings that highlights projections and potential risks. 

Box AI leverages the power of generative AI to bring foundational AI models to the Box Content Cloud – where more than 115,000 enterprises already secure, store, and collaborate on their critical business content. Since entering beta, thousands of enterprises are leveraging Box AI to easily extract the information they need from their documents, generate their own new content automatically, or derive timely insights from their content to transform how they work and accelerate workflows in their businesses. Today, wealth advisors are using Box AI to quickly analyze detailed documents from Investor Relations to inform decisions around wealth management and market updates. 

4. CSI 

CSI, a provider of end-to-end financial software and technology, and LinkLive, an all-in-one, AI-enabled communications platform delivering cloud-based Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), DCS, and Enterprise Communications, announced the expansion of their partnership, bringing embedded LinkLive solutions to CSI digital banking customers. The partnership with LinkLive differentiates CSI and enables the company to offer unique, essential digital engagement features such as chat, desktop share, and other digital-first features like appointment scheduling and AI-powered ChatBots for its customers. 

Consumers and businesses demand service that is high-touch and available around the clock, so it is vital for banks to allow them to help themselves via self-service, but also provide the right response anywhere and anytime. LinkLive allows financial institutions to deliver this best-in-class customer experience through integrations with common CRM platforms to deliver context to agents and resolve problems quickly. LinkLive helps agents, licensed professionals, and enterprise users deliver the best experience within a compliant, flexible platform. 

CSI embeds LinkLive digital-first messaging into its digital banking solution available to more than 400 financial institution customers, further enabling digital engagement and delivering best-in-class experiences to drive successful outcomes. As a result, CSI customers are positioned to add additional CCaaS and hybrid work features for their institution’s contact center agents and enterprise users. 

5. Deloitte 

Deloitte announced the launch of InvestAcceleration, a new suite of solutions designed specifically for the investment management industry and is an industry-specific approach to implement Workday Financial Management.  

InvestAcceleration, helps investment management firms address risks and challenges, including lack of agility, complex workflows and disparate data models. With InvestAcceleration, companies can implement Workday Financial Management faster, obtain real-time data for greater business insight, and gain augmented industry-specific capabilities, such as digitally enabled processes for fund reimbursables and intercompany accounts payables and receivables. By utilizing the industry-specific solution use cases, digital transformation practices, and cloud-migration tools delivered by Deloitte and Workday, joint customers can speed their time to value. 

InvestAcceleration joins InsureAcceleration as the latest in Deloitte’s collection of Industry Accelerators from Workday designed specifically for the financial services industry. Both accelerators are created to help companies to standardize their data models, which lays the foundation for delivering greater business insight, enhancing cost transparency, and advancing artificial intelligence and Generative AI solutions. 

6. G2 Risk Solutions 

G2 Risk Solutions (G2RS), a provider of merchant risk intelligence for the global payments industry, is partnering with Mastercard to provide merchant acquirers with a more streamlined experience to help them reduce transaction fraud. 

Transaction laundering (TL) is a type of fraud in which a registered merchant account is used to process sales of illegal goods and services. These accounts are being used fraudulently by bad actors whose activity puts legitimate payment providers at significant financial and reputational risk. 

This collaboration adds Mastercard’s powerful Brighterion Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to G2RS’ end-to-end transaction laundering detection solution to address evolving risk associated with increased criminal activity. 

7. HighRadius 

HighRadius announced new use cases for its GenAI-powered FreedaGPT platform and its LiveCubeTM – No Code platform. 

FreedaGPT is a Gen-AI assistant for Order-to-Cash, Treasury, and Accounting teams across the HighRadius Autonomous Finance platform. New modules include: FreedaGPT Email Compose, FreedaGPT Call Assistant, FreedaGPT Support and FreedaGPT Insights. 

Also announced was LiveCube 2.0, a no-code platform, which enables finance business users in automating high-volume transaction data analysis with an Excel-like front-end. It now features ‘LiveCube analysis with FreedaGPT’ – where English language prompts can be used by finance professionals to collate, compare and validate datasets and then initiate resolutions. 

HighRadius also launched ‘Accounts Payable Automation’, the latest addition to its Office of the CFO software platform. This is the industry’s first GenAI Native product suite that will transform the way AP teams currently operate and drive improvement in supplier relationships. 

8. Huawei 

At MWC Barcelona 2024, Huawei released the Financial AI-based Contact Center Solution 2.0, aiming to reduce cost and improve efficiency for financial industry. 

Sophie Chen, Marketing Director of Huawei Software, and Frank Lu, Executive Solution Manager of the Huawei Digital Finance BU, discussed the trends of digitalization in the finance industry. With the swift progress of LLM-based AI in the past year, numerous financial institutions have embraced AI and accelerated its implementation in various scenarios, such as chatbots, intelligent quality inspection and digital human, that significantly enhance operational efficiency. In the future, the depth and breadth of AI applications will be the differentiator for financial institutions to their business growth. A future-oriented digital foundation is an absolute necessity. 

With 30-years experiences in contact centers, Huawei, a leader in the communication industry, has a deep understanding of 5G, AI, cloud, and HD video technologies. These new technologies reduce cost and improve efficiency for financial industry, where they focus on three core capabilities: LLM-based AI, omni-channel access, and openness and orchestration. At the conference, the spotlight is on the LLM-based AI and brand-new WFM (WorkForce Management) module. 

9. JustPaid 

JustPaid (chat.justpaid.io), the AI-powered FinTech company, has just announced new capabilities for its conversational AI financial assistant/chatbot. The chatbot is being enhanced to provide more tailored and dynamic insights for users based on their specific financial needs and feedback. 

The chatbot will feature custom action tiles and metrics tailored for topics like cash flow, allowing founders and business operators to have more focused conversations. Financial data from sources like QuickBooks and Chase Bank are connected to provide context on where insights are coming from. 

Part of JustPaid’s overarching vision for the chatbot is to integrate with Stripe and other tech-leading money movement vendors, allowing company operators, bookkeepers and accountants to process transactions seamlessly and directly within the chatbot, and thus providing a more straightforward experience for payments and services. 

10. Ontra 

Ontra, the leading provider of AI-powered legal technology solutions for the world’s most prominent private capital investment firms, announced the appointment of Leslie Olsen as Chief Marketing Officer. Leslie brings over 20 years of experience as a deeply customer-centric marketing leader focused on delivering profitable growth. Leslie will oversee strategic marketing for Ontra’s Legal Operating System, which leverages artificial intelligence to automate critical legal workflows across fundraising, portfolio investment, and fund operations. Ontra’s solutions are used by over 700 private capital investment firms and advisors worldwide, including industry leaders such as Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, and Carlyle. 

As Chief Marketing Officer, Leslie will focus on expanding the reach of Ontra’s AI-powered Legal Operating System to new customers and across its existing customer base, which includes 9 of the top 10 PEI-ranked firms and nearly 50% of the PEI 300. Ontra’s solutions, which leverage OpenAI’s GPT-4, are also offered through partnerships with several of the AM Law 100 law firms and private capital markets service providers.  

Before joining Ontra, Leslie served as the Global Chief Marketing Officer for C2FO, where she led a global rebrand, launched multiple product lines, and built and scaled the enterprise ABM program, all of which delivered strong revenue growth for the company. Leslie previously led marketing teams at Fundbox and Medrio. Leslie holds a B.A. in International Political Economy from the University of Washington and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

11. PROG Holdings 

PROG Holdings, the fintech holding company for Progressive Leasing, Vive Financial, and Four Technologies, and Infosys announced an agreement that is expected to evolve and scale PROG Holdings’ technology operations as an integral part of the Company’s ongoing cloud- and AI-focused technology modernization and innovation efforts. 

The collaboration will enable PROG Holdings to take advantage of Infosys’ digital services, including cutting-edge technologies, which PROG Holdings believes will help it realize operational efficiencies, accelerate technology enhancements, and improve speed to market. The relationship is also expected to enhance and innovate key PROG Holdings customer-and partner-facing technologies and systems, helping to widen its leadership gap within the virtual lease-to-own market. 

PROG Holdings selected Infosys to assist on its technology evolution and efficiency efforts, including AI initiatives, due to Infosys’ ability to provide global access to top talent and technology infrastructure that supports and augments the innovation and efforts of PROG Holding’s internal technology teams. 

12. Talkdesk 

Talkdesk announced an integration with Q2’s Digital Banking Platform, via the Q2 Partner Accelerator Program.  

The Q2 Partner Accelerator Program through Q2 Innovation Studio allows in-demand financial services companies to leverage the Q2 SDK (software development kit) to pre-integrate their technology into the Q2 Digital Banking Platform. As part of the Q2 Partner Accelerator Program, financial institutions will be able to purchase Talkdesk and then offer an out-of-the-box integration with Talkdesk Financial Services Experience Cloud™ via the Q2 Digital Banking Platform, providing credit unions and banks an end-to-end contact center platform to improve the digital and mobile service experience for their members, customers, and employees. 

The Talkdesk integration with the Q2 Digital Banking Platform means credit unions and banks can seamlessly embed Talkdesk Autopilot for Banking into their Q2 digital banking website or mobile app. Now, clients can easily perform self-service tasks and connect with customer service representatives directly within their banking applications, enhancing their experience and having convenient access to assistance whenever needed. 

13. Talkdesk 

Talkdesk also introduced Talkdesk Autopilot, the next generation of its iconic virtual agent. 

Talkdesk Autopilot builds upon and expands the AI-powered customer assistant capabilities of Talkdesk Virtual Agent. With the addition of new GenAI features, and prebuilt flows and conversations tailored specifically for retail and financial services markets, Talkdesk Autopilot can autonomously resolve complex use cases, understand a customer’s journey, and intelligently make timely decisions based on knowledge of that journey. 

Included in Talkdesk Autopilot is the ability to use GenAI to autonomously generate highly contextual and natural conversational responses to customer inquiries from frequently asked questions (FAQs) uploaded to Talkdesk Knowledge Management. Talkdesk Autopilot can intelligently search, review, and extract the correct information and respond in a natural and conversational manner. 

14. TIFIN 

TIFIN, an AI and innovation platform for wealth, announced a new phase of collaboration between TIFIN AG and RBC Wealth Management-U.S. All financial advisors at RBC Wealth Management-U.S. now have access to AI-Powered Insights, a new program that uses artificial intelligence to observe client behaviors and patterns to identify those who might have money in motion following a significant financial event. Started as a pilot program last August, AI-Powered Insights officially rolled out company-wide this week. 

The work with RBC Wealth Management-U.S. represents the impact that TIFIN AG is driving across many different wealth enterprises. The company has continued to invest in accelerating its growth since spinning off from parent TIFIN in January of 2024. This move included the appointment of a new independent board. Today’s announcement follows a series of recent news of partnerships as TIFIN expands its presence as a leader in AI innovation in the wealth management industry. 

15. WealthArc 

A new AI and data analytics solution, WealthArc AI & Analytics, successfully combines the strengths of neural networks and symbolic logic using neuro-symbolic KGQA (knowledge graph question/answering) and LLM (Large Language Models) to create access to up-to-date and accurate intelligent information that enables family offices and wealth managers to effortlessly access, navigate and comprehend complex data sets and interact with it in an easy manner. 

WealthArc, a Swiss-born global wealth data management solution provider, has partnered with ZeroLink, a pioneering company in neuro-symbolic AI technology, to develop the cutting-edge machine learning-powered ‘Chat with your data’ service, and hopes to target family offices and the wealth management market across the GCC with AuM worth US$650 billion. 

The multi-custodian and multi-currency driven solution is intuitive, easy to use and customizable, with a high level of data quality. It ensures users have access to up-to-date and accurate intelligent information, allowing them to make informed decisions that drive positive outcomes and build their wealth.