Digital Transformation coming full circle – 23 years later

May 4, 2018

When asked what we do here at Squirro I talk about AI. AI seems to be everywhere. Our version is all about Augmented Intelligence. Then people often go: “Interesting, but (not yet) for me.”

23 years ago, 1995, I joined the Institute of Information Systems of the University of St.Gallen. There I joined the Competence Center Electronic Markets as research assistant. The competence center was joint research with companies such as UBS, CS, St.Galler Kantonalbank, SwissRe, Mercedes, and many more.

Under the guidance of Prof. Schmid, or Dr. Beat in short, we did ground breaking work: At the institute we got at the time a fully working e-banking prototype called Telecounter. Yes fully working, albeit on clunky PCs. Showing that to people outside of the competence center we were often met with disbelieve and sometimes ridicule.

Fast forward to today. When I opened my UBS e-banking account last Sunday. First, I was asked to accept the new all-digital package. No longer will I receive hard copies of my monthly statements, paying bills will only be possible in an all-digital manner – the good old physical payment slips gone, the only connection to my account is the browser interface.

Within the span of two decades retail banking has been fundamentally transformed.

AI will do the same for banking and any other industry with one difference: It will take significantly less time than two decades. Why? The combination of Moore’s law and massive advances in algorithmic computing make this change irresistible much faster.