Entering a New Era of Technology, with IT on your Terms

By Dennis Curry, Executive Director & Deputy CTO, KONICA MINOLTA INC

Dennis Curry, Executive Director & Deputy CTO, KONICA MINOLTA INCDennis Curry, Executive Director & Deputy CTO, KONICA MINOLTA INC

In the age of digitalization, smart technology is no longer a threat confined to science fiction movies. Whilst technology may tend to disrupt and displace some people in the short term, technological changes to date have not had an overall negative impact on humans. And as these changes become more and more frequent, all sectors will be affected – including finance and banking.

Potentially the biggest disruption will be in how we view and interact with technology at the most basic level: rather than interacting with intelligent devices, we will experience machine intelligence that follows us through every digital interaction we have, up to and including the Internet.

We are consuming more information and digitizing the environment around us, including our workplace. What we want is personalization and systems that work for us – intuitively able to make decisions. Currently available AI platforms are centered around companies’ needs and requirement. Those systems were built predominantly for cost, security and for providing stability, and their logic has to suit everybody. Their ability to fine-tune for the individuals is limited. The high scale, fixed logic behind these services has improved, but people now need to have more flexible choices.

Within the finance and banking sector, there will always be strict regulations to adhere to, but personalization doesn’t have to let that hold it back. The layers of policy and compliance still have to interact at many different stages: at which point individualization can only help streamline to achieve these more effectively.

Take the example of mortgages: the end user has set requirements they wish to fulfill and evaluate the different options that companies and brokers can offer them. At this point, this can be a manual process, where the user has to identify what suits their needs best. But if a system knows you and the different layers that build up into your mortgage application, it can coordinate that interaction between the systems to intelligently find the best offer for you. This can only offer more and more opportunities for businesses, as they receive smarter data alongside a faster process.

"What we want is personalization and systems that work for us – intuitively able to make decisions"

At Konica Minolta, we are embracing this challenge with a focus on the context where most of our skills reside: the workplace of the future. We recently announced Workplace Hub, our first step towards delivering systems that intuitively connect people, places and devices into a platform where information flows easily and IT support is accessible and manageable from a single place.

Some of the AI-based tools of Workplace Hub constitute the first steps of a strategy to connect the dots between different technologies and AI solutions. Natural language processing, classification, analytics, machine and deep learning are disciplines that we are already mastering, together with our partners, to achieve the next stage of development. Rather than focusing on the many and various discrete tasks that AI can solve, the real value of the technology will be found in a unified platform, a Cognitive Hub that will become the next generation of Workplace Hub and define a Workplace Operating System for all sectors, including finance and banking.

Beginning with the experience garnered from Workplace Hub, Cognitive Hub will apply intelligent edge computing to AI and augment human intelligence to extend the network of human interfaces and enhance collaboration between individuals and teams. Cognitive Hub will become a nexus for clients’ information flows within the digital workplace and provide augmented intelligence- based services that are immediately and autonomously actionable.

Building upon the spread of cortex-like platforms, we envisage the integration of AI and edge-based IoT solutions to distribute and augment the intelligence within the workplace of the future. We are creating the Cognitive Hub, an integrated platform that can learn, adapt and enable organizations to make more insightful and impactful decisions in areas such as investments, business models, new products and services.

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