How AI can help improve our businesses and our lives

Article by: Troy Wright

Troy Wright is a career banker who reinvented himself as a fintech entrepreneur with His message: every business needs to reinvent itself, now. With new technologies such as AI and machine learning clearing uncertainties and inefficiencies out of every industry, the organizations that make the best use of data will become tomorrow’s winner.

The good news, says Wright, is that anyone can do this. Technology has become a commodity. All you need is focus and will.

For proof, consider Wright’s record at Lendified. In three years, he has built his online lender into a nationwide lending platform, with 25 employees (a number expected to double by the end of this year). Using AI to assess and control client risk, Lendified offers flexible growth capital (up to $150,000) to small and medium-sized businesses at competitive rates. “We believe we can predict risk outcomes with 98% accuracy,” says Wright. “Plus, we can do all this analysis in 7 to 10 minutes, not in several days or weeks as at many existing financial institutions.”

In addition, Lendified now sells its risk-management platform as software as a service through to several of Canada’s top banks and credit unions – to help them, too, make more profitable lending decisions.

Wright says AI benefits all parts of society by clearing away uncertainty. In finance, for instance, lenders can make better credit decisions, which means they can serve more clients while maintaining their margins. Later this year, Lendified expects to begin operating in the U.S., offering a similar combination of business loans and white-label lending solutions for financial institutions.

Why was Lendified, as a small startup, able to disrupt Canadian lending? “A company like ours benefits from its ability to focus and find a way to build something unique,” says Wright. Once he identified an opportunity in automated credit, he hired a team of computer scientists and software developers to create a breakthrough. Larger financial institutions, by contrast, have many calls on their R&D resources. “There’s lots of internal competition. So it’s difficult to focus their efforts in a disciplined way.”

By sharing his story at the AI/Sustainable Futures Summit on March 28, Wright hopes to inspire attendees to create their own future by using AI and related technologies to create greater knowledge from our surfeit of data, and build more efficient industries. “I want to challenge people to think about how AI can change the thinking in their industry.”

As we use AI to make better decisions about business, economics, housing, city-building, the environment, and even government spending, Wright says organizations will be able to predict outcomes and operate more effectively. “Change can often be scary, but the fiscal outcome of change will be quite positive. This is another Industrial Revolution, which led to huge productivity gains.”

Wright is especially excited about the application of AI to intractable societal problems, such as the environment, health care and climate change. “By using shared data, we can make better decisions about health care, traffic-planning, and resiliency in the face of natural disasters, such as floods or forest fires. Better processes create stronger communities.”