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The A-Team: ATB, AltaML and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is integrated into almost every part of our daily lives, including our finances. It’s everywhere we look and, honestly, most places we don’t.

By Alison Gates 23 November 2020 2 min read

AltaML and ATB intern Samantha Sam-Inimgba

And AI is enhancing the customer experience right here at ATB through a partnership with AltaML. With funding from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, the AltaML Applied AI Lab’s internship program accelerates applied AI and machine learning skill development. Interns of the program gain hands-on experience and bolster Alberta’s innovation ecosystem; keys to success in a new data-driven economy.

Through the program, ATB has welcomed two interns—Samantha Sam-Inimgba and Keith Jennings—who work under the guidance of AltaML team leads on ATB-specific machine learning use cases. ATB provides the interns with real-world industry problems, as well as controlled access to secure data, and the interns add value through continuous experimentation on those use cases. These use cases are curated by ATB’s own AI Lab and feed into a research program designed to improve applied machine learning at ATB.

“Our mission, at ATB and through this program, is to use AI to create meaningful value for our customers while ensuring we build ethical, safe, secure and reliable solutions,” said Ian Hargreaves, ATB’s Managing Director of Artificial Intelligence. “And it’s about more than banking. We want to leverage AI to form an overall stronger connection with Albertans and foster a culture of innovation that moves our province forward.”

ATB uses machine learning algorithms that analyze behavioral, demographic and historical transaction data to better understand and serve the customer. For example, computer vision and natural language processing can read documents and save valuable time processing loan applications, which means customers can get the funds they need faster. It’s value-adds like this that Sam-Inimgba and Jennings are seeking to uncover.

“Keith and Sam are already hard at work finding ATB-specific AI solutions. They’re looking at the challenges customers face and how machine learning can solve those problems and enhance the overall experience,” said AltaML Applied AI Lab Manager Danielle Gifford. “It’s a collaborative, iterative and in-depth process that requires the best and brightest minds; we know we have that with all of our interns.”

Sam-Inimgba, who holds a BSc in Biomedicine and an MSc in Computer Science, said the first month in the lab has been driven by customer-focused and Alberta-centric conversations. "We’re working to find ways to use AI to optimize ATB products and help each customer get the most value from them. This work ties directly into ATB’s goals of making banking work for the customer."

ATB’s interns came to the AltaML program with a foundational knowledge of AI and machine learning. They were selected from over 500 applicants, reflecting their talent and accomplishments, the workforce demand for the opportunity, and AltaML’s reputation as a leader in the applied AI space. The interns’ AI Lab experience—delivered remotely—will last for three months, wrapping up at the end of January.

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