Data science, AI beneficial to open finance — UnionBank exec


SOURCE: BACKENDNEWS.NET
NOV 22, 2021

As economies across the world become more conducive to the open finance framework, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) now both play an increasingly crucial role in cross-platform data sharing. This was one of the main points explained by Dr. David Hardoon, chief data and artificial intelligence officer of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) during a panel discussion at the recently concluded Cloudera Sessions 2021 Asean.

Dr. Hardoon emphasized that the fundamental ideas of data science and AI have always been around even before the term was coined in the late 2000s, with the variation being the recent advancements in terms of theory, research, and methodology.

“Of course there’s been advancement in technology, theory, research, and methodologies, but the fundamental techniques, the fundamental building blocks have already been there,” Dr. Hardoon said. “What has changed is the environment and the ability to apply them. Therefore, to me, what we need to see is the pervasiveness of it.”

Dr. Hardoon mentioned that in addition to enabling more personalized services, open finance will likewise enable these technologies to operate across various platforms resulting in seamless data sharing. This will ultimately improve the end users’ experience even as they move through different organizations or providers.

“By using data, it’s the ability to say ‘I know you’re a retail customer, but I think this loan may be useful for you.’ It’s really about leveraging all these opportunities to build services and solutions around moments of life, enabling moments of life,” Dr. Hardoon said. “It’s also great for new potential providers where they want to create more specific relevant products. It really opens the door for a tremendous amount of possibilities, so I’m really excited about what it’s going to bring effectively.”

“Now look, is it going to increase competition? Sure. But at the end of the day, that’s how it is. It’s a good thing. In fact, if anything, this would furthermore increase the criticality and the importance of using data. That’s the whole aspect of open banking. It’s on a virtual construct, it’s all situated on data,” Dr. Hardoon concluded.

AI adoption

According to Dr. Hardoon, there is still a long way to go in terms of adoption but there is already a significant number of companies that are using data science and AI in some form or capacity. Establishments are also now starting to embrace these technologies for various reasons.

“One from a competitive edge point-of-view — survival of the fittest, you’re fighting with certain organizations which are using these kinds of techniques and are coming up on top,” he said. “I’m very excited because the rate of momentum over the last three years has been rapidly accelerating. I’m very hopeful that two, three, five years from now, we will get to the stage where it will be the exception where organizations either are not considering or fully not using some dimension of data science, machine learning, or AI within the organization.”