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"We need to embrace A.I. to not become a victim of it"

Thursday 14 September 2017

Is Jersey's finance industry ready for Artificial Intelligence? Experts from around the world will try to answer the question this week as Digital Jersey's first 'AI retreat' opens today.

Digital Jersey partnered with UK consulting firm Cognitive Finance to host the retreat at Grand Jersey, which will see around 60 people attend from the island, as well as the UK, USA and Europe.

The first of its kind, the AI retreat will explore how the technology is transforming the professional services sectors. It was designed to help businesses in Jersey and elsewhere understand the challenges of AI as well as its benefits. The retreat is split into two different parts: an open session on Thursday morning, which will look at the many applications of AI from financial services in Jersey to city design and Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) and an invitation-only series of talks spread over three days until Sunday.

Presenters will include companies from London, Tel-Aviv and New York, as well as speakers from Oxford University and lawyers specialised in financial services litigation.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to grill political heavyweight Lord Michael Dobbs, Margaret Thatcher's former Chief of Staff and author of the acclaimed UK original of 'House of Cards', which was later adapted into the successful Netflix series.

tony moretta digital jersey

Pictured: Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, who is hosting the first AI retreat in Jersey.

Tony Moretta, Digital Jersey CEO, told Express that he was pleased with the reception the event had received so far: "We have had a lot of interest for the retreat. AI is obviously an emerging area and this is a first step in educating people and raising awareness of it. Some people see AI as science fiction and do not think it is relevant, but it is actually just the next step in softwares replacing day-to-day tasks. It is going to hit the financial sector and Jersey will be no exception. We need to understand the impact AI can have so that we can seize the opportunity to be competitive."

He added that understanding AI and what technology is available is essential for companies if they want to keep up with the competitions, and that it is also important for governments and agencies such as Jersey Finance so they can set the right policies in their jurisdictions. 

Dave Birch, Director of Consult Hyperion, a technical and strategic consultancy specialised in electronic transactions, will give the keynote speech. The Digital Jersey Special Advisor will explore how AI will be the most important “regtech” (regulatory technology) of all time. He will also make a few suggestions as to how Jersey can take the lead in using the technology to create a better financial services sector, that is faster, cheaper and more transparent.

Dave Birch Digital Jersey Special Adviser

Pictured: Dave Birch, Digital Jersey Special Adviser and Director of Consult Hyperion, will be giving the AI Retreat keynote speech on Saturday.

While some might be worried that AI will mean the loss of 'human' jobs, Mr Moretta thinks it will actually be beneficial. He explained: "If used in the right way, AI could help companies become more productive and increase their business without increasing the workforce, which is difficult in Jersey. AI will replace current jobs, just as technology has replaced other manual jobs. But it means that we will be able to move people to more interesting, less repetitive jobs. We need to embrace AI to not become victims of it." 


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