Interview: Ching Ching Tan, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Cécile Sourbes talks to Ching Ching Tan, deputy director, sandbox at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore.
You’re launching a new course entitled “AI in Finance”. How did the course come to live?
For this course, Ngee Ann Polytechnic partnered with the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) in London.
We first met with CFTE in July 2017 at an event in Singapore. At the time, it became immediately clear to us that CFTE shared our passion for the finance industry. And we both recognised that AI would be coming in a very big way. These preliminary talks translated into a meeting in November 2017. Coincidently, this was also the time when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced its focus on AI and increased AI funding to boost this area.
Why did you decide to focus on AI?
Very often, when we talk about AI in finance, we actually talk about augmented intelligence solutions to perform some specialised tasks such as synthesising information or recognising patterns. In that sense, AI can be very relevant to finance.
In addition, Accenture’s future workforce survey reveals that two-thirds of bank workers expect AI to create opportunities in their job. But so far, only 26% of the workforce is ready to work with these technologies.
So we think the time is right for us to launch the AI in Finance Course which will be relevant for every employee in the financial sector. That being said, the course is also open to other professionals including entrepreneurs, technology experts and consultants.
AI is evolving very fast. How will you keep the course relevant?
This is a course developed by the industry for the industry. There is a whole ecosystem in Singapore. Given the collaborative and close relationship we have built with the banking industry and the MAS, we have ongoing discussions with the key players about the latest developments in the industry. This, coupled with CFTE’s extensive network in Europe, will allow us to keep abreast of the industry trends and update the course as we go along.
What’s the take-up rate of the course so far?
We are expecting 2,000 students to enroll. In Singapore, we have received good traction from banks such as OCBC and UOB who will be sending between several hundreds and a thousand staff members to the course. This is a clear indication that there is market demand for a course like this.
Want to know more about how Singapore is embracing AI? Read our special report here, featuring interviews with OCBC, UOB and the MAS.
This article is also featured in the July/August 2018 issue of the Banking Technology magazine.
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