Augmented Intelligence in the Digital Revolution



Augmented Intelligence - what exactly is that? I had the benefit of speaking with Marcos Da Silva, Director of Analytics Product & Strategy of Adastra one fine evening at an event focusing on How to Recession-Proof Your Organization with AI (Artificial/Augmented Intelligence) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation). This event was hosted for leading-edge organizations that are looking for technology to serve their clients better on a grand scale.


AI, commonly referred to as Artificial Intelligence, is all the buzz. Some fear it. Some, like me, love it!


People fear what they do not fully understand. AI is commonly feared as the replacement for human interaction and productivity.


It’s not. AI is a tool to increase how we manage data and be more productive at analyzing the results. Data is moving quicker now than ever before and that's why we need AI. AI is a tool, not a replacement. Sure, it may replace certain workflows, but human intervention is still required which brings new employment opportunities.



Marcos Da Silva has an interesting viewpoint. That language is very important in today's business landscape. How we define things are very important not only to identify them properly but to relate. According to Marcos the proper way to identify technology used to complete mundane or repetitive tasks is Augmented Intelligence, not Artificial Intelligence. Marcos believes that the word Artificial makes it seem disconnected from humans and can be scary. Which tends to create us vs the machine perspective. After all, do you prefer Artificial Sugar or Sweetener? There is quite a difference in the language presented.


Augmented is defined as having been made greater in size or value. Or as Marcos defines as building on top of something like human intelligence. Therefore, it seems reasonable to me to identify the digital revolution in Fintech as Augmented Intelligence.


Truth be told, I've been hiding in a much smaller space of Fintech over the last 5 years in the SMB (Small Medium Business) landscape. We've seen tremendous growth in how data is managed for SMB on a scalable and affordable level. Over the last 13 months, I've been on a pursuit to seek out of the rest of the industry as it relates to Fintech. There is so much more out there than just cloud-based accounting systems. At this event hosted by Adastra, I was able to get a taste of some fine wine and how AI and RPA are revolutionizing organizations on a much bigger scale.


Adastra has 24 offices globally with over 2,500 employees and caters to many National Banks and organizations like Magna, Starbucks, Rogers & Rexall. They have experienced tremendous growth over the last 20 years. But as Darren Edery, CEO of Adastra, explains

Adastra is a large organization, but not too large in that they still care about individual customer success.

Darren talked about an interesting topic called the deep fake that many organizations are facing. For example, voice recognition is not always accurate. Think of how technology can be used to alter one's voice. For instance, popular singers can easily change their voice using technology. Yet this still remains a validation process for many organizations. It’s a real-world problem detecting and preventing fraud.


During our networking time, I spoke to individuals who focus on fraud prevention. I was intrigued to find out how fraud is managed at a banking level to serve the community as a whole. For instance, how a national level bank assists the RCMP in tracing money and using such methodologies to capture individuals involved and victim to human trafficking. Which has me wondering if these victims may not have been found if it weren't for augmented intelligence and RPA.


Next up was Darren's demo on RPA. This technological process was to validate a client’s personal information like a driver’s licence and then compare it to a photo captured in real-time using facial recognition. I was blown away. This simple to use RPA was able to validate the driver’s licence. The validation process failed when an expired driver’s licence was used. When a valid driver’s licence was used it was then compared to the facial recognition of the person all from a mobile device! Several attempts were undertaken to try and "fool" the technology. But guess what. Only a valid driver's licence with a photo captured in real-time of the individual would pass the test.

I've seen a lot of technology in the last 5 years and frankly, this demo had me speechless.

This is just the beginning of how fraud can begin to be minimized using Augmented Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation. Imagine applying for a bank loan or a new bank account using this process all from your mobile device, instead of having to walk into a bank and wait for your appointment to open a simple bank account. That's is the Digital Revolution in action!


Should you feel your organization requires automation it is likely time to seek out Adastra to determine how AI and RPA can be utilized to increase customer satisfaction and improve workflows for your employees.


Yours in apps,