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Hani Hagras

Chief Science Officer

“We’re unique in this [Explainable Artificial Intelligence], ahead of anyone else in the world”.

More than 20 years ago when Hani started his academic career, knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) was constrained to academic circles with few real-world applications. Yet today even children are familiar with the kind of AI that lies behind technologies such as Alexa and facial-recognition software. This AI has given good results, but its deployment within regulated industries such as banking has been slowed by the fact that it’s impossible to understand how it works—it is opaque.

Hani became one of the UK’s youngest computer science professors in 2006, at the University of Essex, and since then his pioneering research has taken AI one step further—he is at the leading edge of “explainable” AI. This seeks to enable the conversion of data to formats that can be easily understood, analyzed and augmented by humans—opening the way to transformational change across society.

“We’re unique in this, ahead of anyone else in the world,” says Hani, who joined Temenos in 2019 when it acquired Logical Glue, the company he co-founded in 2009.

“We’re in an era characterized by a huge amount of data, which can be easily generated, stored and organized. Now we have the technology that can extract information from this and, in terms of financial services, enable us to have new offerings, reduce risk, improve financial wellbeing, and allow safe banking and transactions.

“At Temenos I think we’re able to realize the banking software of tomorrow, which is going to shape how different kinds of banking applications are going to play a pivotal role in our future lives.”

“At Temenos I think we’re able to realize the banking software of tomorrow, which is going to shape how different kinds of banking applications are going to play a pivotal role in our future lives.”

That future promises to use explainable AI to perform the role of a relationship manager dedicated to your financial wellbeing, 24/7, throughout the year. You’ll be able to ask it to forecast your net disposable income for the next few months, see if you can afford to take a trip, or help you get the best mortgage.

“This will be transformational for the banking sector and for the billion-plus people who interact with Temenos software all over the world,” adds Hani.

As head of Temenos’ artificial intelligence business unit, Hani is contributing to driving innovation for the company. Meanwhile, as an academic at the University of Essex—where he is director of the Computational Intelligence Centre and head of the AI research group—he is applying his thinking to other fields, such as cancer research and brain development. He has published more than 300 articles, as well as books, and was made a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2013.

Now also a Temenos Founding Fellow, which he considers a great honor, Hani wants to continue making a difference. “My first degree was in electrical engineering and I think this shaped me because I’ve always had my eye on making sure that my ideas and theories have an impact on people’s lives,” he says. “Our work at Temenos supports this. My colleagues have the right mix of intellectual ambition and desire to make a positive difference to the world. It’s a real privilege to work with them.”

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