Intel’s Latest AI Platform Takes Aim at Financial Crooks

Two years ago, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) spent an undisclosed sum of money to acquire artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Saffron. The start-up's cognitive computing platform had attracted the attention of Chipzilla as it wanted to lay its hands on a technology that could mimic human thinking, process inputs, and generate insights by naturally interacting with people.

The good news is that Intel seems to have achieved clarity about what it wants to do with Saffron's technology. Its recently launched platform to tackle financial crimes indicates that the company is now going to use AI to tackle a big problem, which could eventually turn into a big opportunity. Let's see how.

About the Intel Saffron AML Advisor

Intel's latest AI-enabled platform, the Saffron Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Advisor, gathers gather data from several sources and then uses AI to help banking and insurance investigators explore emerging patterns in the data, enabling them to track anomalies.

In Intel's words, the Saffron AML Advisor will mimic "the associative memory of the human brain to surface similarities and anomalies hidden in dynamic, heterogeneous data sources, while accessing an infinitely larger data set than its human counterparts."

The analysis of a large data set using artificial intelligence will help the Saffron AML Advisor reduce the time and effort put in to detect and fight a variety of financial crimes ranging from money laundering to identity theft and fraud.

The company brought in five organizations as a part of the Intel Saffron Early Adopter Program, including the Bank of New Zealand. All these organizations are using the AI-enabled platform to not only keep tab on any potential fraud, but also gain insights about their customers.

This is allowing the participating firms to provide better customer service. Therefore, Intel's potential customers have more than just one reason to adopt its AI platform. This makes it clear that the company is going after the big data opportunity in the banking space with Saffron.

Gauging the opportunity

Intel is going after a huge market with the financial crime detection capabilities of the Saffron AML Advisor. This is because 2%-5% of the global GDP, amounting to between $800 billion and $2 trillion, is laundered every year, according to a stat cited by Intel. Furthermore, it relates, 15.4 million banking and insurance customers fell victim  identity theft and fraud last year, causing a massive $16 billion worth of losses.

Therefore, the speed and efficiency of the AML Advisor platform in catching the culprits can help Intel bring more customers into its fold, especially as the amount of data collected by banking and insurance firms is doubling every two years. More importantly, the spurt in data collection will also be accompanied by an increase in the number of sources.

As a result, banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies will need to streamline the multiple data sources.

Therefore, the Saffron AML Advisor's capabilities can help Intel tap the massive opportunity present in the financial big data space. Last year, the banking industry made a $17 billion investment in big data solutions, making it the largest-spending industry in this area. More importantly, banking looks set to continue being the biggest spender in big data, clocking double-digit annual growth until 2020.

So, the financial services industry can give a nice boost to Intel's revenue provided more banking and insurance customers adopt Saffron AML Advisor, which looks likely given the platform's versatile capabilities.

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Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.