Ant Financial is on the move, but not just as an online payments company. Hidden in its skill set is a high-powered artificial intelligence (AI) capability that is using computer vision, natural language processing, and mountains of data to reimagine banking, insurance, and other industries. Can you envision having a fender-bender, pulling out your phone, taking a photo, and filing an insurance claim? Ant Financial’s AI system will decide how serious the ding was and process the claim accordingly with an insurer. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, created the company to operate a mobile payments service, called Alipay, that is wildly popular in China. Alipay has more than 450 million active users compared to about 12 million for Apple Pay. Ant also is buying the U.S. money-transfer service MoneyGram and may apply the technologies it is developing to its overseas subsidiaries. But AI research and expertise will shape future growth. The company already provides small loans to those without a bank account, assessing a person’s creditworthiness based on his or her spending history and other data including friends’ credit scores. This creditworthiness system also enables customers to obtain various services, such as hotel bookings, without a deposit. The company is using advanced machine-learning algorithms and custom programmable chips to crunch huge quantities of user data in a few seconds and shape the deep learning innovative systems that are the future of AI.