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Fintech: AI powers financial services to improve people’s lives
Qi Y., Xiao J.  Communications of the ACM 61 (11): 65-69, 2018. Type: Article
Date Reviewed: Dec 27 2018

This survey article describes the financial technology (fintech) efforts of two Chinese companies. One company is Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba. Two pertinent examples show payment technologies supporting small businesses in isolated locations.

The supporting facial recognition technology developed by Ant Financial is called Smile-to-Pay. Ant Financial supports microlending with a machine learning program to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers. Ant Financial also works with large financial service providers who face three problems: connecting various parties, controlling risk, and ensuring trust between the parties. Blockchains and artificial intelligence (AI) are used to address these problems.

Another company, Ping An, has developed an integrated platform involving biometrics, image recognition, and other techniques. The relevant example is the assessment of claims and risks in the automobile insurance business. Using the Ping An system, a customer only needs to submit a few photographs after an accident to have the claim processed within a few seconds. Presently, the system is handling 30000 claims each day. Ping An has also developed an enterprise knowledge graph to organize information from government records, public news announcements, and business reports.

The article reports impressive results and is easy to read, but does not describe how AI and blockchains are implemented. However, it does clearly show the potential of AI in the financial world. One wonders, of course, how much is being done by other Chinese companies. The paper is worthwhile for someone who wants a quick overview.

Reviewer:  B. Hazeltine Review #: CR146359 (1904-0143)
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