Manulife adds Boston-based deep learning startup to LOFT project

Canadian financial services firm Manulife Financial Corp.’s plan to bring machine-learning to the financial services industry continues apace, with a Boston-based startup now being added to the artificial intelligence (AI)-based project the company announced earlier this month.

In addition to Silicon Valley-based Nervana Systems, Manulife’s Toronto-based Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) will be collaborating with deep learning platform developer Indico Data Solutions in its quest to develop a new application that could help portfolio managers analyze the high volume of online information, financial news, emails, and documents they receive when researching investments.

In an Aug. 26 statement, Manulife executive vice president and CIO Greg Framke said the partnership would accelerate his company’s efforts to improve its analysts, portfolio managers, and researchers’ decision-making capabilities.

In the same statement, Indico CEO and co-founder Slater Victoroff said that despite Google and Facebook’s embrace of deep learning, which involves using multiple algorithms to build a model for high-level data analysis, the majority of enterprises have barely scratched the surface of what they can do with the technology, and that he was pleased by Manulife’s initiative.

Building on the company’s existing project, Manulife’s LOFT team – a division that researches ways the company can incorporate technology and unconventional business processes into its products and services – will now be using Indico’s platform to develop an AI- and deep learning-based tool that will analyze unstructured financial data, including news articles, analyst reports, and company releases, and present advisors and other professionals with appropriate recommendations.

Specifically, Indico’s platform will increase the LOFT team’s efficiency in training computers to extract individually tailored insights according to where analysts reside.

Eventually, Manulife plans to incorporate other technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and virtual reality, into its operations as well.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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