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What are the top fintech trends for 2023?



In the ever-changing financial technology sector, companies are bracing themselves for a bumper year

Financial technology, or fintech, exploded last year with a record level of investment.

In 2021, around $130 billion was invested into the fintech sector.

Nigel Green is the chief executive officer and founder at the deVere Group, which is one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory firms.

“Against a backdrop of slowing economic growth around the world, supply chain issues, red-hot inflation and the subsequent interest rate hikes, the environment has been more challenging,” he said.

Fintech companies have redefined how financial services are delivered.

Mr Green has several key tips for investors to keep an eye on in 2023.

Traditional banks will shift across

Traditional banks are set to play catch up this year as regulatory requirements and technology pushes them into a new era.

“Two reasons: first, millennials as they are the fastest-growing cohort of clients; and second, because they are becoming the beneficiaries of the Greatest Transfer of Wealth in history,” Mr Green said.

Around $68 trillion in wealth is expected be passed down from baby boomer generation, who are among the wealthiest ever.

Millennials have grown up on technology and are typically influenced by the surge new developments.

“Against this backdrop, they seemingly became comfortable using fintech to help them access, manage and use their money rather than using a traditional bank,” Mr Green said.

In addition, 92 per cent of millennials distrust banks and view them as an unreliable source of information.

Brace for greater regulatory scrutiny

Global watchdogs are preparing to push for increased consumer protection.

“This will come about as fintech services are increasingly embedded within non-regulated entities,” Mr Green said.

He said there will be a specific focus on accountability and transparency.

Data become even more important

2023 will be the year of data, with a key focus on modern methods to collect, analyse and use the data in real-time.

These opportunities will seek to differentiate client-based propositions.

Asia is where it’s at

It is hardly a surprise, but Mr Green believes Asia will continue to be at the forefront of innovation in the fintech sector.

“We attribute this to several key factors. These include a proactive approach to innovation by regulators; the plethora of virtual banks; the development of the wider tech ecosystem, especially application programming interfaces (API); and the influx of Chinese financial and tech giants into the sector,” he said.

2023 welcomes a world of opportunity, and fintech companies are on the forefront of revolutionising consumer experience and demands.

Even as the world nears the brink of recession, Green said “we expect fintech investment will continue to build momentum in 2023.”

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Meta’s plans to hide nudity from Instagram DMs



Instagram, owned by Meta, announced plans to introduce features that will blur messages containing nudity in an effort to protect teenagers and prevent potential scammers from targeting them.

Meta’s decision comes amidst growing concerns regarding harmful content on its platforms, especially concerning the mental well-being of young users.

The technology giant has faced increasing scrutiny in both the United States and Europe, with accusations that its apps contribute to addiction and exacerbate mental health issues among adolescents.

According to Meta, the new protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages will utilise on-device machine learning to analyse whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

This feature will be enabled by default for users under the age of 18, with adults being encouraged to activate it as well.

Meta said that because the image analysis occurs on the device itself, the nudity protection feature will function even in end-to-end encrypted chats, where Meta does not have access to the content unless it is reported by users.

unsplash_image @ Unsplash

Direct messages

Unlike Meta’s Messenger and WhatsApp apps, direct messages on Instagram are not currently encrypted.

However, Meta has stated its intention to implement encryption for Instagram’s direct messages in the future.

Additionally, Meta revealed that it is developing technology to identify accounts potentially involved in sextortion scams. The company is also testing new pop-up messages to alert users who may have interacted with such accounts.

This latest move follows Meta’s announcement in January that it would restrict more content from teens on Facebook and Instagram, aiming to reduce their exposure to sensitive topics such as suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Meta’s efforts to enhance safety measures come amid legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny.

Attorneys general from 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, filed a lawsuit against the company in October, alleging repeated misrepresentation of the dangers associated with its platforms.

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Fake AI law firms avert copyright for SEO gains



It’s been revealed that fake AI-driven law firms are resorting to sending fabricated DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement notices to website owners.

These deceptive practices aim to generate artificial Search Engine Optimization gains through the manipulation of backlinks, casting a shadow on the integrity of online legal proceedings.

The issue was brought to attention when Ernie Smith, a prominent writer behind the newsletter Tedium, found himself targeted by one such fraudulent firm named “Commonwealth Legal.” Representing the “Intellectual Property division” of Tech4Gods, the purported law firm accused Smith of copyright infringement over a photo of a keyfob sourced from Unsplash, a legitimate photo service.

The firm demanded immediate action to add a credit link to Tech4Gods and threatened further legal action if compliance was not met within five business days.

However, a closer examination revealed glaring inconsistencies with Commonwealth Legal’s legitimacy.

Despite claiming to be based in Arizona, the firm’s website domain was registered with a Canadian IP location, raising doubts about its authenticity.

AI-generated faces

The attorneys listed on the website displayed eerie characteristics common to AI-generated faces, casting doubt on their existence.

Further investigation revealed that these fake law firms resort to such deceitful tactics to manipulate backlinks, which are crucial for improving a website’s search engine ranking.

Backlinks from reputable sites contribute to SEO, and exploiting this vulnerability, fake firms attempt to boost their clients’ online presence through artificial means.

The sinister nature of these actions extends beyond mere SEO manipulation.

They undermine the trust in legal proceedings and pose a threat to the integrity of online content. The emergence of AI-driven deception in legal matters underscores the need for vigilant scrutiny and robust measures to combat such fraudulent activities.

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Air Force secretary to fly in AI-operated F-16 fighter jet



Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall announced his intention to ride in the cockpit of an aircraft operated by artificial intelligence later this spring.

Speaking before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel, Kendall said the pivotal role of autonomously operated drones in shaping the future of the Air Force’s fleet.

During the committee hearing, Kendall revealed plans to board an F-16 aircraft that has been converted for drone flight, highlighting the Air Force’s commitment to integrating AI technologies into its operations.

This move comes as part of Kendall’s push to acquire over 1,000 AI-operated drones, marking a significant step toward modernizing the military branch’s capabilities.

Kendall expressed confidence in the autonomous technology, stating, “There will be a pilot with me who will just be watching, as I will be, as the autonomous technology works. Hopefully neither he nor I will be needed to fly the airplane.”

US, Philippines to announce new sites for U.S. military as soon as …

AI-guided planes

The announcement follows the Pentagon’s initiative to develop new AI-guided planes, with contracts awarded to several private companies to compete in the Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) project. This $6 billion program aims to bolster the Air Force’s drone fleet, providing support for human-piloted jets and enhancing overall operational capabilities.

Among the companies competing for the CCA project are industry giants such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, underscoring the significant investment and interest in AI-enabled defense technologies.

The adoption of AI-driven drones represents a strategic effort by the Pentagon to enhance military innovation and cost-efficiency.

By deploying AI-enabled autonomous vehicles, the military aims to achieve greater flexibility and effectiveness in combat scenarios while minimizing risks to manned aircraft.

While details regarding the appearance and capabilities of the AI-operated drones remain undisclosed, Kendall emphasized their potential to disrupt and counter sophisticated air defense systems, ultimately safeguarding national security interests.

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