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Damien Kopp, Head of Products at Blue Fire AI, a Capital Market Intelligence engine enabling business transformations through sophisticated machine learning based decision algorithms.

Damien is a seasoned executive with 15 years of experience in digital innovation, product strategy and technology across Europe, North America and Asia. He is also a mentor and Advisory Board Member at multiple FinTech startups, a public speaker and published writer on technology.

We talked to Damien ahead of his presentation, ‘Decision Intelligence Powered up by AI Technologies’ at Big Data & AI Leaders Summit Singapore 2018 to discuss AI and the challenges it can both solve and create.

Tell us about your role at BlueFire AI

I focus on product development activities, product architecture and scalability. Interestingly, my background is not Capital Markets; I have a cross-industry experience in technology with a strong focus on data platforms and analytics.

At BlueFire AI, we discover the truth about 50k+ public companies and 25k+ private companies from over 60 countries. We combine quantitative analytics on company fundamentals and security prices with machines powered by artificial intelligence that read and understand text (unstructured data) like capital markets experts.

These insights are used by Investment Banks, Assets Managers and Intermediaries for driving sales productivity, capturing asset performance or monetizing information. We are striving to be leaders in an industry that is moving from “information” provision to providing “intelligence” that affects decisions and is of much higher value.

How do you think AI is going to change the way businesses operate?

I believe that data proliferation is the reason why many businesses will struggle unless they embrace a profound shift in how they see and use data to drive business performance. AI will be one of the tools to help make sense of the vast ocean of data at their disposal but it is underutilized by most companies today.

A common fear is that AI will take jobs, whilst a common counter to that argument is that AI will create jobs. What are your thoughts?

I believe technology is a tool to help augment our human capabilities. The truth is our human brain is unable to process the zillions of data points available to us: we need help. At the same time, I don’t like the term Artificial Intelligence: first because it is scientifically inaccurate and second because it creates this Terminator-like fear to most people!

Therefore, I like to define it as Augmented Human Intelligence. The technology should be designed to assist humans where their capabilities are insufficient or inefficient. Productivity gains through technology have been seen for centuries, this is part of the economic growth.

Some people think AI won’t last, whilst some feel this is the biggest shift we have seen in tech. What do you think?

I think what we call AI today is at the very beginning of a Long journey. Do not believe the hype: the technology is not as mature as it seems to be. It’s evolving really fast but it’s still very immature in its own definition, and more importantly most companies are totally incapable of deploying it and capturing its full value potential at scale.

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