Mark Weber

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Intelligent Finance for Integral Human Flourishing

Finance is too often synonymized with Wall Street, with AI applications in high-frequency trading, portfolio management, and fraud detection capturing much of our mindshare. But finance is a fundamental aspect of everyday life for everyday people, all around the world. It's a young couple in Michigan taking out insurance on their first home. It's a factory worker in France remitting money to his parents in Tunisia. It's an SME farmer in Mexico pledging his corn as collateral for an affordable loan. It's a fashion entrepreneur in Bangladesh using financial analytics to determine her growth strategy. But in each of these cases, numerous frictions in our existing financial systems drive exclusion and stifle prosperity. Recent advances in A.I. present exciting opportunities for change. But this technology is too powerful for a move-fast-and-break-things approach. Achieving true human-machine symbiosis in the coming age of A.I. requires deliberation and prudence as much as technical ingenuity. Now more than ever, we need an integrated worldview that prompts us to consider not only what can we do, but what should we do. In this talk, Mark Weber of the MIT-IBM AI Lab will present a framework for applied A.I. research in finance and share some of the latest joint-work being done at MIT and IBM.

Mark Weber is a researcher at the MIT-IBM Artificial Intelligence Lab focused on applied research in finance, economics, and policy. Prior to MIT-IBM, Mark worked at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative where he led an engagement with the Mexican Ministry of Finance and the Inter-American Development Bank on the development of an open-source blockchain protocol called b_verify for supply chain finance; see dci.mit.edu/b-verify. Mark holds an MBA in finance from MIT Sloan, where he was a MasterCard Foundation fellow at the MIT Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development. Mark's penchant for finance originates from his previous work conducting research and producing documentary films on international poverty and development, where he learned the deeper importance of finance and business for everyday people around the world. See his most recent film Poverty, Inc. on Netflix or via povertyinc.org.

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