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AI, Fintech Draw Investment Dollars; Use Cases Slowly Emerging

Artificial intelligence and fintech startups are continuing to attract major funding and hopes for increased use cases in the financial industry.  CB Insightsreports thatfunding to venture-backed fintech companies grew 24% quarter over quarter in the second quarter of 2019, with funding topping $8.3 billion. The Wall Street Journal also notes that venture firms nearly doubled their year over year funding of AI startups to $31 billion in 2018.  Meanwhile, stock exchange Nasdaq is testing an artificial-intelligence surveillance system that deploys machine learning to detect irregular trading activity, the WSJ reports. Use cases for artificial intelligence are still emerging, however, and it can be challenging for non-experts to properly evaluate the value of AI and its deployment. A report in Institutional Investor titled The Overplayed, Turbohyped, and Underwhelming World of Artificial Intelligence is among several sober perspectives amid the AI buzz, asserting that many managers’ claims of AI adoption “tend to be more aspirational than genuine.” The writers discuss questions and considerations non-experts can broach with management to inform their AI due diligence, including: What problem is AI being used to solve and can it be solved by other means? What is the cost of the AI project? What/Who drove the decision to include AI in this investment process? What are the results to date?

 
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