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</IMAI Virtual FinTech event – 11th November 2020>

Published on 16 November 2020 by Web editor

Blog, IMAI news

Over the past few months, we have all become increasingly accustomed to working in a virtual environment, hosting meetings, events and conferences via online platforms. As such, the Industrial Masters in Artificial Intelligence Programme (IMAI) recently hosted its first roundtable with a panel discussion using Zoom.

This marks the start of a new series of events organised by the IMAI team, which are based on our usual roundtable format, but introduce a panel discussion from experts from industry who will give their personal insight into the discussion topics.

The first of these events was held on 11th November and focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the FinTech industry. AI is emerging as an ongoing benefit to so many areas of business and society, and can help enhance or improve the data strategy for many businesses. This is the case in the FinTech world and was something that our panellists wanted to explore and discuss with the event attendees.

This roundtable was part of the ongoing project to respond to the digital skill gap in the UK and boost the quality of postgraduate students joining the AI industry. It featured several panellists with fantastic knowledge of their areas of expertise innovative ideas related to the use of AI within the FinTech industry.

Event panellists

Tony Boobier is a former international executive, focussing on data and analytics for the Financial Services sector. He is also an author of three books: ‘Analytics for Insurance’; ‘Advanced Analytics and AI; Impact Implementation and the Future of Work’, and ‘AI and the Future of Banking’.

Mark Applin is the Co-Founder of Signly, a company which delivers synchronous, in-visions, sign language translations on any webpage for any Deaf sign language user. Using their Azure-powered assistive tech, they are able to deliver fully managed Sign Language as a Service (SLaaS) with next to no coding on the part of the site owner. He has been in discussions with a number of banks, including Lloyds and HSBC, to begin implementation of his innovative creation on their websites.

Lionel Khalil is the Business Development Manager for FinTech start-ups at Oxford Immune Algorithmics. The goal of the company is to profitably solve the problems of people and planet, and his love of solving challenges with Analytics within structured finance, capital market, customer insight management and medical imaging, was clear in his delivery.

Event summary

The session started with statements from the panellists. They spoke about how AI can accelerate the FinTech industry and their own experience. It was agreed by all that changes in this area are already underway, and Tony made the point that, “you can either be participants of change, or stakeholders. I think we should all be stakeholders.”

The floor was then opened for questions for the panellists, enabling them to go into more depth about their experience on how AI can make a positive difference to an industry and how the ethics of any new idea needs to be discussed in detail.

Catriona Ross from the Office for AI continued the day explaining the government’s aims and objectives within the AI sector, and how the relationships held with the individual businesses are so important to this initiative going forward. More details about this can be found on the Office for AI’s website here:

The Office for Artificial Intelligence’s priority areas

The IMAI project lead – Zara Johnson – then spoke to the group about the Institute of Coding’s  (IoC) aims and its progress to date. A roundup of these achievements can be found on the IoC’s website:

Zara continued by speaking about the IMAI programme and the benefits that could be offered by working with us. The IMAI team is reaching out to companies that work in or with AI to understand the specific requirements of their business and partner them with the most relevant higher education institute that could benefit their work.

The work the IMAI is conducting

It was exciting to give more detail to the group on this world-first industry and government collaboration to develop the next generation of AI experts in the UK, and the feedback received was that this was a necessary and needed initiative for the UK AI industries. Further information about the IMAI Programme, as well as useful links and documents, can be found here.

The feedback and contributions from roundtable attendees was excellent, with Indranil Nath from DXC Technology commenting that “it was a pleasure listening to you at the AI within FinTech panel discussion today”. Going forward, the IMAI team is excited to work with everyone who attended to assist them in supporting the next generation of AI specialists.

If your company would be interested in learning more about the IMAI programme, please email us at and follow us on Twitter @IMAIProgramme to learn more about the rest of the series of events.

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