Enabling Technologies

Daily Review: How Alibaba Uses AI to Its Advantage

MEDICIGlobal Head of Content

Ant Financial found through data analysis that young women who like tight jeans have their phone screens replaced more frequently. It then launched “screen insurance” targeting the demographic, China Daily Reports. And that is just one of the fascinating examples of how the combination of human and machine intelligence can drive unexpected business outcomes when applied to a vast data pool .

Pick #1. Alibaba’s Ant Financial Using Artificial Intelligence to Advance

The “smart customer service,” a system launched in 2015 for automated customer calls, has recently surpassed human performance in terms of customer satisfaction.

AI is an important technology that generates value from data. The company has also utilized machine learning technology to launch an image recognition system to aid vehicle insurance claims. The AI damage-assessment system allows users to take a photo of the vehicle’s exterior damage with their smartphones and send it to the insurance company. The system will then enable the insurance company to assess the extent of the damage, and list nearby repair shops and their different prices to fix the damage.

Exterior damage claims comprise about 60% of the 45 million private-vehicle insurance claims filed in China each year.

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Pick #2. Alphabet Launches New Cybersecurity Company, Chronicle, out of Its X Moonshot Factory

Alphabet announced the launch of Chronicle, a new cybersecurity company that aims to give companies a better chance at detecting and fighting off hackers. Chronicle is graduating out of Alphabet’s X moonshot group and is now a standalone company under the Alphabet umbrella.

Stephen Gillett, who joined X from Google Ventures and was previously the COO of Symantec, will be the new company’s CEO.

To get started, Chronicle will offer two services – a security intelligence and analytics platform for enterprises, and VirusTotal, the online malware and virus scanner that Google acquired in 2012.

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Pick #3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Launches API Gateway

Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced the launch of its application program interface (API) gateway, allowing clients to benefit from direct API connections through enterprise resource planning (ERP) and treasury management systems (TMS), as well as other third-party providers. Using BofA Merrill’s API gateway will enable clients to easily and quickly access their banking information and initiate transactions on a real-time basis.

The bank’s API structure will support three access models:

  • Direct client connections: BofA Merrill is already engaged with interested clients to pilot its API services.

  • ERP & TMS vendors: BofA Merrill is currently working with a variety of technology vendors, with plans to add more.

  • Third-party providers (such as FinTech companies): BofA Merrill has begun conversations with several of these companies and is looking to work with providers that can help clients with their working capital challenges.

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Pick #4. Robinhood Makes Big Bet on Bitcoin Trading

The company plans to roll out Bitcoin and Ether trading services via its mobile apps next month.

“We’ve come to understand that cryptocurrencies as an asset have exhibited clear and underlying resiliency and have integrated themselves as part of a diversified and balanced portfolio,” Robinhood Co-founder & CEO Vlad Tenev said to CoinDesk.

To start with, the service will only be offered to users in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana & New Hampshire, but more states are set to follow. Robinhood plans to offer the crypto trading service for free. Plus, it promises instant transfers on cryptocurrency purchases for amounts of $1,000 or less – a significant improvement on the time it generally takes for people to buy cryptocurrency for the first time.

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Elena Mesropyan

MEDICIGlobal Head of Content

Global Head of Content, MEDICI

Elena is a research professional with a background in social sciences and extensive experience in consumer behavior studies and marketing analytics. She is passionate about technologies enabling financial inclusion for underprivileged and vulnerable groups of the population around the world.