Sell-Side Technology Awards 2017: Best Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology—Digital Reasoning

Artificial Intelligence Technology - Digital Reasoning

While the artificial intelligence (AI) category is new to the Sell-Side Technology Awards lineup, it is reasonable to expect it to be a staple for as long as this program continues to run. The inaugural winner is Franklin, Tennessee-based, Digital Reasoning.

Digital Reasoning’s Synthesys platform “learns human communication” to apply “human-like reasoning” to a firm’s documents, emails, spreadsheets, social media and other forms of unstructured data. It can sift through text, audio and images and resolves who is talking about what and with whom. The system is designed to read through all of a firm’s data and highlight the important people, places, organizations, events and facts discussed in those documents. From there, it takes those highlights and determines what’s important by connecting those dots. Finally, Synthesys figures out what the final picture means to a portfolio manager or trader by comparing it with pre-determined opportunities, risk and anomalies.

The platform has been used to address various regulations, from the Dodd–Frank Act in the US to the Markets Abuse Regulation and Mifid II in Europe. It allows users to oversee the entire trade lifecycle, ensuring banks meet the latest standards without adding headcount. It also helps improve a firm’s know-your-customer/anti-money-laundering (KYC/AML) processes by finding anomalies that would be difficult for a human to pick up. This can save banks huge amounts of capital in potential fines. It can also be used as a customer-relationship tool to help identify and alert banks to potential problems with a customer before it becomes an issue where the customer would want to leave.

According to the consultancy Forrester, users can double the return on their investment in four months and cut false-positives in half by using the Synthesys platform. Additionally, Digital Reasoning claims a 250 percent increase in acuity, while across 90,000 emails, Synthesys accurately identified 14 concerning messages compared with conventional monitoring technology, which spotted only four. Investors in the vendor include Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, UBS and Nasdaq, among others.

Digital Reasoning, thanks to its work with Nasdaq, also won the best alliance or partnership category in this year’s awards and was named in consultancy Chartis’ RiskTech 100 in this year’s rankings.

This category is likely to be one of the most competitive in the years to come as AI takes on greater importance in the capital markets. Expect Digital Reasoning to be one of the firms leading this movement. 

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