How Diversity and AI Will Shape the Fintech Industry

What does the future of artificial intelligence (AI) look like in the fintech industry? What role do female scientists play? These were the questions addressed at the COST conference on Fintech and AI in Finance “Women in Fintech III” at the University of Coimbra. It was co-organised by BFH Professor Joerg Osterrieder. More than 25 speakers from 14 countries discussed the future of fintech, AI in finance and educational aspects.

The potential of AI for financial services, from improving decision-making processes to automating repetitive tasks, is remarkable. However, the risk of biased algorithms and job losses from automation pose ethical and societal challenges that require prudent management.

Branka Hadji-Misheva, Professor of Applied Data Science and Finance at the BFH Business School, focused her presentation on the importance of explainable AI (XAI). Transparency in AI decision-making processes, for example, is indispensable. She emphasised that XAI is not only a technological requirement, but also an ethical one. As AI becomes more prevalent in our lives, ensuring accountability and explaining AI decisions is a key part of the digitalisation strategy of the BFH Business School.

Diversity and inclusion as priorities

The strategic goals of diversity and inclusion were strongly considered in a two-hour panel discussion on the role of women in the fintech industry. In this male-dominated field, encouraging and supporting women’s participation is essential to promoting diversity and inclusion. In their discourse, Branka Hadji-Misheva and Joerg Osterrieder highlighted significant contributions of women in the fintech industry and advocated for greater gender diversity. The panel discussion was a testament to the BFH Business School’s commitment to gender diversity and demonstrated that inclusive societies are better able to develop inclusive systems and thus promote a more equitable financial industry.

The conference offered valuable insights into the transformative potential of AI in finance. The diversity of speakers from different countries and disciplines contributed to a comprehensive exploration of the topic. The importance of gender diversity, XAI and interdisciplinary education emerged as key themes. The outcomes of this conference can serve as a basis for future research and policy initiatives aimed at shaping a responsible and inclusive future for AI in finance.

In line with the strategic priorities of the BFH Business School, the conference highlighted the importance of internationalisation, digitalisation, diversity and inclusion. As a neutral platform, it fostered a global dialogue on the future of fintech and left a lasting impression on the participants and their respective institutions.

Cost Action at the BFH Business School

In a world driven by innovation, artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the financial landscape. From 27th to 29th September, the best minds in Europe are coming together at the COST Conference in Berne to explore state-of-the-art projects that are reshaping the future. Information and registration

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AUTHOR: Branka Hadji-Misheva

Branka Hadji-Misheva is Professor of Applied Data Science and Finance at Business School of the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

AUTHOR: Jörg Osterrieder

Jörg Osterrieder is Professor of Sustainable Finance at BFH, Switzerland, and Associate Professor of Finance and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He is the Action Chair of the European COST Action 19130 Fintech and Artificial Intelligence in Finance, an interdisciplinary research network that brings together more than 200 researchers from 49 countries worldwide.

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