Pictures & Notes from Dock9's Mortgage AI event (12/07/18)

Author Livia Thimotheo
  • Date July 13, 2018
  • Reading Time 4 minutes

On 12th July we hosted our Mortgage AI event at Brand Exchange, London.

Artificial Intelligence is a phrase on most people’s lips in 2018, with bold predictions being made about its potential to disrupt many industries, including financial services. Mortgage brokers and lenders alike have been grappling with how to unlock the power of AI. But outside of the hype, what is the current reality?

We were joined by guest speakers from Microsoft, Twenty7Tec and Eligible.ai to debate this hot topic.

The event began with Dock9’s MD, Mark Lusted, giving an overview of AI concepts such as weak and strong AI, machine learning and noting the frequent confusion in the industry about whether a chatbot equals AI.

Phil Bailey, from Twenty7Tec then spoke on “Mortgage AI: cutting through the hype and looking to the future.” He questioned whether AI would ever really be used for robo-advice, and suggested instead that the technology would be better used for digitising the non-advisor parts of the mortgage journey. This would save borrowers and brokers inputting data into different systems, freeing up brokers to spend more time to do what humans do best: comfort and advise other humans during what can be a confusing, stressful and scary time of their lives.

Rameez Zafar, CEO of Eligible.ai, then introduced us to the trust vs convenience “pendulum”, whereby something customers swing between services seen as convenient with those seen as trustworthy. He agreed there were large challenges for the mortgage industry adopting AI-driven robo advice. The concept of robo advice originated from wealth management and while there are many similarities in the conversion funnel (fact find, risk scoring, profile type and product selection), there are fundamental differences. The biggest difference is that while wealth management robo advice is managing a highly liquid asset, the opposite is true in the mortgage world. A home is not just any asset, it’s an emotional investment as well in most cases. It’s where the “investor” lives with their families, it is close to work and their parents. So it’s not as flexible as a portfolio. He suggested that AI has a role to play in customer acquisition, however it has other stronger benefits in credit underwriting, portfolio management and servicing.

Finally, Gabriel Nepomuceno, Tech Evangelist at Microsoft, impressed us with the capabilities of AI and the tools available to non-Data Scientists. He demonstrated how he could download data from gov.uk and predict how much his house costs without any experience in the mortgage market. He claimed one wouldn’t need to be a data scientist either to do that, just a few hours and programming experience would be enough using tools available online today. He clarified, though, that it was just an example of how democratised AI tools are today.

The event ended with a lively Q&A where more challenges were discussed such as the challenges and opportunities of open banking, the competitive advantages innovative lenders could gain from leveraging AI and automation, and approaches to cleaning data through AI.

There were also some interesting chats over drinks afterwards and it was excellent to have such great attendance - and great attendees! A big thank you to all of you who came - some from pretty far away - and if you would like to be at the next event then let us know at events@dock9.com.

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