Swinburne and IBM equip FinTech students to thrive in a world of AI

Tuesday 15 October 2019

AI and machine learning technologies are transforming the way jobs and services look in the financial services industry.

In summary

  • Swinburne has partnered with IBM Research Australia to co-create a unit on artificial intelligence as part of the Master of Financial Technologies
  • The unit will equip FinTech students with a practical understanding of how AI and the financial services industry intersect
  • The ‘Artificial Intelligence and Insights’ unit will commence in Semester Two 2020

Swinburne has partnered with IBM Research Australia to equip Master of Financial Technologies (FinTech) 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. 

Director of the Master of FinTech, Dr Dimitrios Salampasis, says Swinburne is honoured to partner with a world leader in information technology and AI.

“IBM is a global and forward-thinking technology leader driven by expertise, an innovative mindset and global technological savviness in designing and building next-generation systems that transform industries around the globe,” says Dr Salampasis.

Understanding emerging technologies

AI and machine learning skills are fundamental core skills that employers now seek in their employees across many industries, says Dr 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,” says Dr Salampasis.

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

Equipping students with future-ready skills

As part of the unit, students will be taught by AI experts from IBM Research 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.

Dr Jürg von Känel, Associate Director of IBM Research Australia, says IBM Research is looking forward to working with Swinburne on the development and teaching of what is an Australian-first in postgraduate education.

"Understanding the concepts, capabilities and limitations of AI and machine learning will be particularly important for FinTech businesses in order to face a complex environment of high customer expectations and regulatory requirements."

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

Dr Salampasis says 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 says. 

The benefits of course co-creation

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

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

“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, Alexander Kaiser, says: “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.” 

Swinburne and FinTech

This Master of FinTech postgraduate program commenced in Semester One 2019. The program is delivered through Swinburne’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and has been developed with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, a partner of the university through the Community Bank® at Swinburne.