Sibos: Real-time charity, student winners and the human side of AI

Sibos: Real-time charity, student winners and the human side of AI

Wrapping up Sibos 2018, Bill Doran, Swift’s head of Oceania, demonstrated Australia’s real-time payment system with a live charity drive, while Monash University student team Hebe won AUD$30,000 with its proposal for helping Australia’s banks protect consumer privacy in a world of open banking.

As part of its corporate social responsibility effort, Swift had previously donated $40,000 to its charity for this event, The Girls and Boys Brigade, which provides assistance for disadvantaged inner-city children. But Bill Doran took this one step further by putting his mobile phone number, which acts as a PayID in Australia's New Payments Platform, on the screen. He encouraged Australians in the audience to match Swift's generosity with any amount, as the balance quickly ticked over on the live mobile device screencast of his bank account. By the end of the plenary, it reached over $3,300.

Alain Raes, Swift's chief executive for Apac and Emea, and Stephan Zimmerman, deputy chair of the board, both recapped the major themes of the event - disruption in the industry from the rise of platform businesses and open APIs, cyber risk, and artificial intelligence. But it was on cyber risk that Swift gave it's strongest clue of future product and service direction for the cooperative.

"There is very little in terms of an international framework let alone a legal base to effectively deal with cyber crime," he said. "The only thing we can do is use existing mechanisms and the way we deal with each other as banks. We have platforms where we’ve built trust. On our trusted network we know how to share information and talk on different issues. I believe we can build on that using the strength of the network to foster collaboration.

In the debates and panels the question came up about where the cyber attacks are coming from? It doesn't really matter where, the fact is it's there. It doesn't matter if its nation-state initiated or tolerated. The response needs to be the same - to get our act together and respond collaboratively."

On Wednesday the conference sessions had seen presentations from eight university student teams as part of Swift's third annual Student Challenge, which invited students enrolled in Australian universities to develop ideas on how to keep personal information safe in an open banking environment.

Team HEBE, comprising Marco Lecci and Aaron Rozario from Monash University, was selected as the winner from among the semi-finalists, coming away with AUD$30,000. Swift apologised for not prearranging a real-time payment and added it had decided a cheque was also not a good look.

The Monash team's proposal was based on behavioural economics and blockchain technology, to build a product that consumers could use to specifically share personal data to individual or types of organisation - and for those parties to provide value, tokens, or discount offers, in return for sharing.

Wrapping up the annual event Genevieve Bell, distinguished professor at the Australian National University and Senior Fellow at Intel Corporation, provided a thought-provoking anthropological perspective on artificial intelligence and cyber-connected systems - part of the fourth wave of the industrial revolution, and a World Economic Forum diagram from several years ago that has been repeatedly referred to throughout the week.

She pointed out that often, the discussion is based too much on the technology and its capabilities and limitations, and not the wider human and societal impact. She drew an analogy asking if steam engines were the technology that inspired the rail network - which dramatically transformed societies worldwide -- what will be the rail network powered by AI? And also, as each wave of the industrial revolution had created new jobs, it also created new areas of academia and applied sciences. From engineers dealing with steam, MBAs with mass production and computer scientists emerging from the digital revolution, she asked the banking industry leaders and technologists in the audience to consider what would be the equivalent created from AI - and what would they need to do to answer questions about safety and scale?

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