Presented By O’Reilly and Intel AI
Put AI to work
8-9 Oct 2018: Training
9-11 Oct 2018: Tutorials & Conference
London, UK

AI and financial crime

Martin Goodson (Evolution AI), Mark Qualter (RBS)
13:45–14:25 Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Secondary topics:  Financial Services

Who is this presentation for?

  • Directors (particularly innovation directors), C-level executives, and financial crime specialists

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with terms such as error and accuracy

What you'll learn

  • Learn best practices for defining requirements for an AI solution, developing optimal evaluation metrics for AI systems, and taking ethics into consideration when designing a production AI system


AI has the potential to be a valuable ally in the fight against financial crime. Know-your-customer (KYC) processes are heavy in manual processing and involve the reading of large numbers of documents. Human cognitive capability is ill suited to such tedious document tasks, leading to errors. Deep learning technology shows promise in the automation of repetitive document processing of this nature.

Martin Goodson and Mark St. John Qualter share the results of a yearlong feasibility study on the introduction of AI into the onboarding process at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Along the way, Martin and Mark share their experiences in translating this complex business process into a high-performance computational system. The study found that AI allows tasks to be performed that would be impossible using a manual process. AI also enables a large financial services firm to capitalize on its legacy data effectively, transforming it into a strategic asset. The study also showed that defining evaluation metrics that accurately track progress toward desired business objectives can be an unexpected challenge.

Photo of Martin Goodson

Martin Goodson

Evolution AI

Martin Goodson is the chief scientist and CEO of Evolution AI, where he specializes in large-scale natural language processing. Martin has designed data science products that are in use at companies like Dun & Bradstreet, Time Inc., John Lewis, and Condé Nast. Previously, Martin was a statistician at the University of Oxford, where he conducted research on statistical matching problems for DNA sequences. He runs the largest community of machine learning practitioners in Europe, Machine Learning London, and convenes the CBI/Royal Statistical Society roundtable, AI in Financial Services. Martin’s work has been covered by publications such as the Economist, Quartz, Business Insider, TechCrunch, and others.

Photo of Mark Qualter

Mark Qualter


Mark St. John Qualter is head of artificial intelligence for commercial and private banking at RBS. Previously, he designed and led a project that successfully transformed the Bank’s SME real estate lending proposition. Mark has held a number of other roles at RBS, including head of strategy of the Customer Solutions Group, the specialist product division of RBS’s Corporate Banking Division; director of strategy for RBS invoice finance; UK head of corporate invoice finance; managing director for North of England real estate; and regional director for corporate banking for Yorkshire and Humberside. He is currently a governor of Manchester Metropolitan University, chair of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee. Mark was also a member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Council for the CBI. Mark holds an MBA from Manchester Business School and a BA (with honors) in Hindi and Sinhalese from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. His interests are street, documentary, and portrait photography, travel, and Krav Maga.