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ATB Ventures

The dichotomy of tech and trust

May 27, 2021

The vast digital gap between those with access, privacy, and security - and those without - will only become more profound if the concept of trust architecture isn’t inserted into our developments. Building and maintaining this trust is what will enable digital-first marketplaces to thrive.

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Alberta tech startup is combating climate change and social inequality one purchase at a time

December 8, 2020

Who is going to make the changes we so desperately need to ensure the longevity of a cleaner and safer world? Can anyone enact real change and make a positive difference on an individual level? Or are climate change and social inequality really so vast that it’s going to take the world’s largest players to make any sort of difference?

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Putting the customer first by putting them at the center of everything we do.

November 17, 2020

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a model for managing digital identities in which an individual has sole ownership and oversight over how, when and with whom their personal data is being shared. Users who subscribe to this model are able to hold and store all of their information directly on their own device and share for verification without the need of a central aggregator of data (i.e Equifax) - which tend to be highly vulnerable to theft and attack.

Each time you interact with an organization to access services or pay for goods, a large amount of personal information is shared with a variety of agents (for example driver's license, Social Insurance Numbers, emails, etc). Not only is this a cumbersome process for you, but the more information you share the greater the risk is for the security of your data.

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Reimagining Redundancy in a collaborative real-time machine learning system

November 10, 2020

Redundancy in the software and information domain used to mostly be about the system’s fault tolerance. Fast forward to present day, however, and the increasing availability and affordability of cloud computing has changed many design paradigms and has led to the proliferation of software systems running on cloud providers’ “everything-as-a-service” platforms. The former can no longer be vertically-architected and centrally-managed.

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Teaching computers to see, read, and understand

November 3, 2020

Advancing into the future sometimes means diving into the past. When ATB sought to find ways to extract information from a deluge of analog data hidden in decades’ worth of historical paperwork, we taught machines to read - shrinking down years of work into a matter of hours. In this whitepaper, Rhys Chouinard and Tyler Dauphinee of the ATB AI Guild breakdown the process we undertook to develop and test Optical Character Recognition.

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Transactions so slick, you might slip

October 27, 2020

We learn by doing, and Blockchain technology is something we are "doing" a lot of. We’ve changed the way international money transfers leverage Blockchain. Now, we’re building systems for maintaining identity records. But we like to keep it in the community, so we’re also using Blockchain to tackle a very Albertan topic… Oil Settlement Day.

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Cracking compliance: Traditional banking for unconventional business clients

October 20, 2020

Cryptocurrencies and the companies that create and manage them may seem to operate in a plane separate from the traditional banking sector. But in reality, to run a business, hire staff, buy servers/equipment, rent an office, and pay utilities and taxes, every business needs at least some fiat currency. This means that cryptocurrency ventures in most cases still need to rely on business banking services from more traditional banking services providers.

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Made-in-Alberta: Financial solutions for blockchain businesses

October 13, 2020

What is a better role for ATB than to be the provider of banking solutions to Alberta businesses implementing innovative solutions? In our drive to lead the technology revolution of the banking sector, we’ve been sharing our passion for areas like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence. This focus allows us to leverage a willingness to provide business banking solutions that go beyond traditional offerings.

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Quick time-to-value data science: Delivering something functioning now over something perfect later

October 6, 2020

At a large organization in an established industry, there will always be“organizational inertia”: that is to say, it’s hard to adapt and respond to new threats (or opportunities) when the organization is busy staying focused on its day-to-day operations and delivering on expectations. The adage “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” often reigns supreme. Change is hard, and staying focused is key – especially when people’s finances, businesses, and homes are at stake. In recent years, however, the banking industry in Canada hit an inflection point. The processing power of cloud computers has finally reached a critical point where it is now cheaper to rent secure space on a server, rather than buy and house data stores on-premise. Not to mention the data loss risk reduction provided by redundancy systems in cloud storage.

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Sovrin for your own security

September 29, 2020

Sovrin is a blockchain network that works by acting as the “middle man” between facts—they accept facts about people or places, as well as the verification from another authorized party that those facts are true and trustworthy. For example, in the future, when we all have digital identity records, you could add your new driver’s license to your records through Sovrin, and the Government of Alberta could verify that it is, in fact, a real and valid license. From there, you could use your identity record anywhere you need to present ID with the simple scan of a QR code.

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Blockchain your identity

September 22, 2020

Think of all the places your identity is currently stored. Rather than 10-20 different organizations having their own version of your identity, you could go through life with one consistent record, that you completely control, granting other parties access to it when necessary—to open a bank account, get a car loan or be approved for your first mortgage. This is the future ATB is exploring, with the help of blockchain technology. And our starting point is, of course, making banking work for you.

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Optimizing robotic process automation

September 15, 2020

Advancements in robotic process automation are enabling companies to quickly introduce improvements to outdated, complex, or error-ridden processes. But it’s not as simple as setting a bot loose and seeing massive returns in time and money saved.

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Practical data synthesis

September 1, 2020

In order to build and maintain customer trust, financial institutions are investing millions of dollars in preserving privacy while experimenting with exponential technology to bring best value to their customers. With rapid advancements in artificial intelligence on all fronts, however, there is a dire need in the financial sector to balance customer privacy with the use of transaction data in training robust machine models. This white paper provides a rationale focused on data privacy and also includes suggested algorithmic recipes related to how transaction data could completely eradicate the use of real customer data. A distinction is drawn between data simulation and synthesis. Two discussed synthesis techniques include a bootstrapping framework featuring dynamic time warping and a hidden Markov model fitted with a stochastic gradient version of the Markov chain Monte Carlo method.

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Bringing true security to a fractured online world

August 11, 2020

With each new digital product entering the marketplace, new data is forming everyday. Yet, with the massive power this data holds come a number of challenges. We're referring, of course, to the heightened vulnerability around personal data and the risks associated with this vulnerability for the everyday Albertan. The mass digitization of records and services resulted in a fractured web of personal data, owned by various parties.

At ATB, we know a key aspect of embracing digital transformation means making massive strides in securing our customer’s personal data. This is why, not long ago, we made a commitment to focus on a collaborative approach to self-sovereign digital identity. As part of our work leveraging blockchain solutions to improve life for Albertans, we’re aiming to place the control of data back in the hands of those who own it - without compromising the seamless experience our customers have come to expect.

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Defining the sandbox: Governing artificial intelligence

August 4, 2020

At ATB, we hold the belief that AI may be the biggest and most disruptive technology advancement we see in our lifetimes. The power and reach of machine learning is rapidly expanding into many areas of ATB, and into our everyday lives. The long-term sustainability of any enterprise is predicated on trust and for any data-driven organization, the respectful and ethical treatment of data is core to building reliable AI solutions. Furthermore, an organization-wide governance process needs to be established, to ensure the AI solutions work as intended and the right controls for risks are in place. That starts with our AI Governance.

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Baking trust into ATB's AI strategy

July 28, 2020

At ATB, we are working with leading edge technology with the goal of serving our customers better. Artificial intelligence is one such technology that we’re working with to achieve this goal. AI holds significant promise for the future, but hand-in-hand with the opportunities AI brings are potential uncertainties, and for some, discomfort.

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