In his recent Mansion House speech “New Economy, New Finance, New Bank” Mark Carney referred to the brave new world we inhabit as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are living in an age characterised by a technological tsunami that is constantly changing and shaping the way we live, work and interact with each other.
And what is oiling the wheels of change is data. “Data is the new oil” Mr Carney went on to say in his speech. In the context he meant data is currency, but I believe the metaphor can be extended. Data is also the kind of oil that keeps things in motion. Without data, AI driven processes would simply seize up.
We love data at Castlight. We process tens of millions of pieces of data every week as we continue to develop and sophisticate our CaaS (Categorisation as a Service) product. We are proud that CaaS is now demonstrably the most powerful categorisation engine in the UK.
But we are constantly working away to strengthen it and recently our team of data scientists have succeeded in “training” CaaS to “think”.
CaaS has learnt to work things out for itself.
For instance, when CaaS is running through its transactional categorisation process and comes across a payment into an account for £500 from Tesco, it knows it needs to drill further down. What kind of a Tesco payment is this?
CaaS can now work out that this is an amount that could either be a refund for an expensive item like a TV or perhaps a part time wage. Which is it? By running through the transactional data of the months before, CaaS will quickly see a pattern of end-of-the-month payments for £500 and categorise it confidently as a part-time wage.
The first industrial revolution launched the steam engine, the second industrial revolution gave birth to the telephone, light bulb, phonograph and the internal combustion engine and the third industrial revolution gave us the personal computer and the internet.
As we venture into the fourth industrial revolution we are learning to integrate AI into our lives. We are recognising the huge potential of data and we are exploring the best ways to harness it for good. As fintech developers we could not be living in more exciting times!
127 years ago President Benjamin Harrison installed the first electric lighting in the White House but never touched the light switches himself for fear of being electrocuted.
Just a handful of decades later we have technology like CaaS that can think through problems for themselves.