Swinburne has partnered with IBM Research Australia to equip Master of Financial Technologies students with key artificial intelligence (AI) skills for working in the financial services industry.

The new unit, ‘Artificial Intelligence and Insights’, will commence in semester two 2020 as part of the Master of FinTech – the first postgraduate program of its kind in Australia.

AI and machine learning skills are fundamental core skills that employers now seek in their employees across many industries, said Director of the Master of FinTech, Dr Dimitrios Salampasis.

The unit will help students understand the characteristics and functionalities of technologies like AI and how they are changing jobs and services in the financial sector.

“For instance, if you walk into a bank and talk to a chatbot or a machine, there is a whole structure behind it that many people don’t understand,” said Salampasis.

“The biggest mission of this unit and degree is for it to be a real eye-opener, to help students understand the mechanisms and technologies behind the innovative services and products we have.”

As part of the unit, students will be taught to critically evaluate the role of AI in various contexts related to financial services and shown how to apply appropriate techniques and tools to solve financial service problems.

Students will also learn coding basics and gain experience working with data in an AI-driven environment.

Salampasis said the exposure to cutting-edge technological developments, and insight into IBM’s way of thinking and problem-solving, will be valuable for students’ long term career prospects.

“Through this partnership, IBM is essentially helping us create the talent that they can use or tap into in the future,” he said.

Co-creation is about safeguarding and securing the relevance of what Swinburne teaches, according to Salampasis.

“This model makes sure our course content is up-to-date and reflects the latest research, insights and technological advances,” he said.

“The co-creation model takes many forms such as sharing of capabilities, technologies, facilities or platforms between the two partners, the contribution of real-life case studies from industry or the supply of guest speakers for lectures.”

Director of the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne, Alexander Kaiser, said, “We are very happy to welcome IBM Research Australia as a unit partner in the Master of FinTech, leveraging on the active industry engagement and co-creation model that runs across all our AGSE postgraduate programs.”

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