Tuesday I'll be co-moderating the Singularity University Exponential Finance Conference in New York. The event provides another opportunity to assess how disruptive technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, and blockchain technology are influencing the financial world.
Just look at one area — big data analytics — and you can see the impact. Like all institutions, banks are awash in new data on their customers. They have information on loyalty cards, social networks, purchase data, browsing habits — an ocean of information. Using big data analytics, they can sift through this information more quickly, which has changed the way risk is priced.
That supports faster and more accurate decisions and has supported the rise of peer-to-peer lenders like Lending Club and Prosper.
Big data is changing even the way old industrial companies operate. Marco Annunziata, chief economist at General Electric, will speak on how GE is taking industrial machines from jet engines to medical equipment and turning them into intelligent interconnected devices.
Once again, I will be interviewing Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, and the co-founder and chancellor of Singularity University.
Given Ray's central role in the development of artificial intelligence and machine intelligence, and his key predictions on the development of that technology, I'm sure he will have a lot to say about the hoopla surrounding artificial intelligence and the somewhat apocalyptic comments about a machine takeover from Elon Musk and others.
One thing is for sure: The interaction between finance and technology, or "fintech," remains a hot topic. In a March 2016 report, Citigroup noted that investment in private fintech had grown from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015.