Exploring Future of Blockchain and Ai in Business

The Frank G. Zarb School of Business’ Center for International Financial Services and Markets at Hofstra University hosted a conference “Symposium on Blockchain Applications in Business” on Wednesday, April 24th 2019.

The Speakers included Dr. Petr Novotny and Francis D. Poeta of IBM Watson; Peter Borovykh of Blockchain Driven; along with professors from the program. Discussions included “Hyperledger Fabric”, “Fusion of Blockchain and Ai” and “Decentralized Finance and Liquidity.”

These sessions have given attendees a glimpse in the future of what’s possible with artificial Intelligence (Ai). Each session addressed various angles of how Ai is being applied and used across various industries. A lot of what the future of Ai represents, is actually much closer to reality than many of us anticipating. Applications and case studies have shown that we are very close to the world, full of Ai and a potential interconnectivity with blockchain.

The Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University and IBM Global University Programs joined together in 2018 to transform Hofstra’s technology curriculum and provide students with the latest programs through IBM Skills Academy. IBM’s worldwide academic initiative is to help students and universities stay current with digital skills for the future.

Dr. Petr Novotny and Francis D. Poeta discussed IBM’s efforts in being at the forefront of Ai and its future. Its implementation of IBM Watson is proof of that. Watson is their solution to combining artificial intelligence and analytical software to produce a “question answering” supercomputer.

Most recently, IBM Watson has been making waves in healthcare, as it was one of the first industries where the technology was applied. Its cognitive computing platforms will help doctors make decisions for personalized care.

By using data driven insights, Watson could solve some of the biggest problems in patient care by providing answers to any medical related query. Already implemented at top cancer centers including Memorial Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson Cancer center, 90% of nurses in the field who use Watson, now follow its guidance.

IBM Watson’s ability to mine data from billions of documents and provide expert responses has also been beneficial to companies like Thomson Reuters who worked with Watson to provide their clients with answers on data privacy.

Watson is a one of a kind program that can understanding complex unstructured information like regulatory requirements. Data Privacy regulations are constantly evolving, and with Watson, Reuters is able to train and use its expertise to consistently and accurately keep their clients up to date.

Banking support has also been transformed by using IBM Watson. Creval Sistemi e Servizi (CSS) a midsized banking group in Italy, needed to shift its internal service-support operations away from human effort into virtual support, which significantly reduced service desk calls by 80 percent thus allowing its staff to focus on providing service for higher value tasks.

CSS created a Watson powered Ai assistant called Alfredo, to deliver first-line service desk and back-office support to more than 360 bank branches. Its new virtual assistant can answer a nearly unlimited number of inquiries simultaneously, unlike the previous phone support system. CSS calls itself the “retail bank of the future” and with an Ai program like Watson, other banks can follow in its lead.

Leading the discussion of “Fusion of Blockchain and Ai” was Peter Borovykh of Blockchain Driven who discussed future possibilities when merging Blockchain and Ai systems. He used case study of RoninAi (a custom developed neural network artificial intelligence), and how artificial intelligence paving the way in crypto trading. Using up to second social and trading signals, to predict direction and price movement of various cryptocurrencies. In-fact, RoninAi was mentioned in a research study on trading signals and Ai efficiency.

In the world of new technology, the world Ai seems to be like a buzzword. Used by many mindlessly, and yet behind the scenes, Ai is developing into a tool without which many industries won’t be able to function in the near future.

The efficiency and time saving effect of Ai can have a far reaching and rippling effect across the industries and space that right now seem so ingrained as insurmountable. Just like a computer disposed of typewriters; and VHS went by the wayside first supplemented by DVDs, which sequentially was replaced by streaming.

We are in the brave new world now, that’s still figuring itself out, with new tools and new applications. It is up to you, to embrace it or to ignore it, and just keep doing what you always did. We’ve only had smartphones just over 10 years, and yet the average person can’t even imagine being without cell phone for few hours. Hence new technology takes over our minds and affects us, often without us even knowing it happened. The next step is not a binary choice, it really is about embracing. Because if we don’t embrace new technology such as Ai willingly, it will certainly surround us and affect us either we want that or not.