Over the past few weeks I have visited the boards of Barclays Africa and the Discovery Group to talk about the fourth industrial revolution and its impact on the banking industry. The pace at which the banking industry is migrating from physical branches to computer applications (apps) is marvellous. I have not visited a branch of my bank this year because I can do everything I used to do there on my phone. But this app is not perfect — it is only available 80% of the time due to technological challenges.

The banking industry is becoming a digital rather than a physical system. So what sort of leaders should be running a modern bank? Should they be accountants or engineers — or both? When I was completing a PhD in artificial intelligence (AI) at the University of Cambridge 20 years ago, many of my engineering classmates went to work for banks, and some of them run large Wall Street financial companies. The fourth industrial revolution is shrinking the world of work at a rapid ...

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