Artificial Intelligence (AI) can and will help in increasing day-to-day efficiency by fully automating manual processes within the BFSI sector, says Rene Buest, Director of Technology Research at Arago, in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).
Give us an overview of your products and services.
Arago provides a general artificial intelligence (AI) to enterprises. Helping them succeed in a digital age. Applications for our technology can be far ranging…from autonomous IT process automation up to business process automation within media, telecoms and finance…to giving meat producers precise information about the current condition of the animals in a flock and their development.
We work with UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager providing financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide. As well as NIIT, a leading global IT solutions organisation servicing customers across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In these capacities, our proprietary AI HIRO™ uses problem-solving artificial intelligence to autonomously automate processes across the entire IT stack.
Our AI does the jobs best that are hardest for humans. We’ve grown beyond the kind of process automation that goes into optimising something like a call center, to more knowledge-driven jobs. We know for a fact, having worked with several large Indian customers, that AI will not displace this kind of labor. It will certainly change the way the labour landscape looks, but there will be continued job growth.
Your brand is building an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform focused on the B2B sector
using machine reasoning and analytical components. Tell us about this project and its
progress so far.
We’ve come along way in the field since the days of Alan Turing. Chris Boos, the CEO of Arago, has been researching artificial intelligence since the 1990s. As pioneers in the space, we feel a great responsibility to share our knowledge and to make sure that “smart” machines benefit humanity.
HIRO™ is a general problem-solving artificial intelligence technology we have developed and thoroughly tested in real commercial applications with a strong focus on business and IT optimisation.
Of course, you can have fun with regards to proving grounds, so we also showed HIRO’s™
capabilities by beating a well-known open-source strategy game at a time when companies, such as Facebook, said it couldn’t be done. You can watch our global announcement on that project via TechCrunch.
A recently released report has predicted that AI is likely to pump $957 Billion into Indian Economy. What prospects do you see in this regard?
We greatly admire the Indian customer. We initially expected the United States to outpace demand for our technology, but India turned out to be our fastest growing market. I would say that the motivation of the Indian B2B sector is much better. While the growth figures you have quoted are accurate, they still operate in a specialised manner.
Several banks in India are using AI services for conducting their front office operations
and query handling services. What AI services do you provide in the BFSI sector?
AI can and will help increase day-to- day efficiency by fully automating manual processes within the BFSI sector.
There are already examples such as Kasisto ($9.2 million led by Propel Venture Partners) that are focusing on the vertical for virtual assistant offerings. Our remit with UBS is to increase efficiency and effectiveness while retaining knowledge within the IT department of its support organisation: UBS Global Production Services (“UBS GPS”)
The larger question for the ongoing future is simply: can banks be digitised? I’d like to see more cooperation between banks and FinTech companies. This particularly applies to the sales side, as well as, the introduction by FinTech, to the latest technologies in the banks. Conversely, by cooperating with banks, FinTechs themselves gain better market and client access that counterbalances end consumers’ still insufficient trust in FinTech companies.
How had been the year 2017 for your brand? What are your future plans?
2017 was a stellar year for Arago. Having just opened new branches in Silicon Valley and
Bangalore, India, Frost and Sullivan awarded us the highest rating (10/10 in decisive categories “Product Attributes” and “Impact for Customers”) for the European New Product Innovation Leadership Award.
As one of the few German tech firms that have received funding from global investors (since receiving $55M in funding from the PE firm KKR) we take great pride in our work and look forward to a long and successful future.