Manulife to enhance investment research with AI tools

The financial company partners with tech firm Nervana Systems to develop data analysis tools that would assist portfolio managers

Manulife’s Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) has announced that it is collaborating with Nervana Systems, a company that is building the next generation of intelligent applications. The applications will be used to develop an AI (artificial intelligence) and deep learning tool to analyze the huge amount of online information, financial news, email correspondence and documents that portfolio managers receive each day as part of due diligence and research.

"The complexity of the financial markets and vast amount of data generated make deep learning an ideal fit for financial services companies," explained Naveen Rao, CEO of Nervana Systems. "Nervana Cloud will help Manulife's portfolio managers quickly organize, search and analyze new and historical financial data to make faster and more accurate investment decisions."

Using deep learning, Manulife's LOFT is training a computer system to decipher natural language. The computer analyzes information to infer meaning from terms and words. It is capable of learning and continuously improving itself using that information.

The Manulife LOFT project will employ a deep learning-based natural language processing engine. The technology is anticipated to help Manulife’s investment advisors and other financial professionals make informed decisions more quickly than ever before.

Manulife–and under its John Hancock brand in the United States–has built a global network of LOFTs with nodes in Boston, Toronto and Singapore. Leading the project will be the Toronto LOFT, located in the C-Suite (fintech cluster) at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

"This partnership with Nervana accelerates our development efforts and our understanding of this new technology," commented Manulife’s Greg Framke, executive vice president and chief information officer. "Deep learning and artificial intelligence technologies have the potential to enhance research efforts in virtually all areas of the company."

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