In conversation with Justin Adams, CEO & Founder, Digitize.AI

Justin Adams, CEO & Founder, Digitize.ai

September 6, 2017 – Seventh episode of the short interview series with the influencers FinTechStage is bringing to BAI Beacon 2017 as part of our renewed strategic alliance.

This time around we are in conversation with Justin Adams, CEO of Digitize.AI. Their vision is a workforce that is fully engaged.They want workers to spend their time doing value-added work and and high-level thinking, like humans were made to do.

Justin, your career is long and diverse. How would you briefly present yourself?

I would say the one consistent theme is that I have followed my interests and passions no matter where they went. I started my career in the US Intelligence field before going to business school, moving into management consulting, then running a large operation before founding an AI start-up. It hasn’t exactly been linear, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything.

Will AI revolutionize the Financial Industry? The way we bank? 

Without a doubt. I am convinced AI will change not just the financial industry and the way we bank, but the entire economy, more than the Internet changed it. Even though AI has been around for more than half a century, we are right on the edge of it beginning to permeate every industry. It’s sort of the equivalent of where the Internet was circa 1995, just before it really blew up and disrupted everything.

It seems like SME’s are the businesses that will see technology change their fate rapidly. In your opinion, are SME’s the ones that will profit from this revolution the most?

Broadly I would say this is true. I think the majority of SME’s will have access to more capital in a more cost- and time-efficient way because of this technological change. There will be some SME’s that will not be able to “hide” as much as they are doing now and could be negatively affected. AI will continue to separate “winners” from “losers” in this space, but as a whole SME’s will profit.

What do SME’s need the most? Why are they a good “target market” for the financial technology? Where are they left behind by the financial services of today?

SME’s need access to affordable capital in a time-efficient and low-friction way. Traditionally given on average the lower margins and higher risks compared to larger companies, SME’s tend to get “clustered” together. What AI technology like Machine Learning is going to do is “decluster” the SME’s  because financial service firms will be able to make more reliable predictions based on data. The banks and financial services firms that figure this out will be the clear winners along with the healthy SME’s.

During the FinTechStage Financial Inclusion Forum, Sopnendu Mohanti (MAS) talked of the end of FinTech 1.0 and the Rise of Start of FinTech 2.0, do you share a similar feeling? Are we about to tap into the true potential of FinTech now? 

Most definitely. See my answer above regarding where I think we are on the AI journey. The technology is starting to be accessible for every organization. The key is putting together a strategic automation and AI plan that puts in place the building blocks of the opportunities that are real today while being comfortable with the fact that FinTech will look very different in three years.

BIO:

Justin has spent his career helping transform organizations through technology and innovation, from Fortune 500 clients to the United States Intelligence Community. Previously, Justin was with PwC where he led efforts to internally transform their back and middle office through Robotic Process Automation (RPA). As a management consultant with PRTM (acquired by PwC), Justin helped numerous clients in areas including global business services, robotics, banking, alternative assets, and aerospace and defense.  
 
Justin also worked in the Intelligence Community and helped start a task force that used novel technology to combine data analytics and operational responsibilities. He also sat on a board that advised a venture capital firm on promising new technologies. He received numerous awards from the government for his efforts. 
 
Justin holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from Wheaton College. 

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Justin Adams will be a panelist in the session De-Risking Business Lending Through A.I. at BAI Beacon Atlanta 2017 on October 5th at the Georgia World Congress Center. Take a look at the Agenda and find which other panels and keynotes are of your interest!

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