Barclays AI Frenzy Launch

Often when the words artificial intelligence are thrown about the thought of ultra-smart talking computers and futuristic robot assistants come to mind. However, I fear sci-fi cinema has skewed our vision of how AI is realistically applied to modern life. Ready to set us straight, we had five guest speakers to show us the science and myths and current uses of AI within their day to day working lives.

In our video of the day's events we meet Matt Thornton, Co-Founder at Cortex to speak about the state of AI in 2019, Where are we now and where are we going? Matt spoke about the hype around Artificial intelligence and started off by explaining what AI actually is, just the processing of data. He gave examples of how the hype around AI has often led to companies jumping on the bandwagon to gain more funding as VC is more likely to invest in businesses if they say they are working in AI, much like with blockchain. Matt gave the example of the AI toothbrushes that are currently on the market.
Next, we heard from David Scott, Co-Founder of Garden Tags with his Garden Tags App use case, AI image recognition for plants.
David started by talking about how they had developed a social media app for gardeners based on sharing images of plants. He then gave an overview of how Garden Tags have worked with C5 Alliance’s bespoke development team to use Google’s TensorFlow deep learning engine. They have used thousands of images of different plants to enable it to learn to recognise the different types which is now used as part of the Garden Tags app.
Our Third speaker of the day, Jon Lowe the Senior Manager at PwC explained to us concepts of intelligent automation.
Jon spoke about what Robotic Process Automation is and how PwC is using it to streamline existing processes. He gave a demo of how the RPA works and explained examples of how they use it to get information from older legacy systems to be able to be inputted and used in newer systems.
Next, we met Matej Jurkic, Senior Manager of Digital & Cyber Advisory Team at KPMG. Who spoke about AI in control.
Matej spoke about the ethics behind AI giving examples of different situations where AI had ‘gone wrong’ but explained how these are in most cases due to the data that is inputted in the first place. One example was of an AI solution being labelled as bias however it was due to the data being inputted was biased to begin with so the system learnt off of that data. He finished with an interactive quiz with the audience on the moral machine where the audience was given the choice between two options which then were collated and displayed back at the end.
Our last speaker of the day was Richard Field, Partner in the Dispute Resolution Team at Appleby. Richards talk was about Interfacing Law and Tech, he started with speaking about the opportunities and threats of AI along with when we can expect to see these products arriving. He covered some of the legal sides looking at the Electronic Transactions Law, 2000 and Electronic Transaction (Electronic Agents) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2019. He finished by looking at some issues to ponder around ownership, risk and consequences of errors followed by looking to the future and what AI will bring.  

Thanks to Barclays Eagle Labs we will be planning more AI Frenzy events for the future! 

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