The World Economic Forum Warns AI Could Lead to the Collapse of the Financial System

The World Economic Forum Warns AI Could Lead to the Collapse of the Financial System
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According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionize the world of finance throughout the next decade or so.

The technology is set to do this through automating investing among other finance services. For this reason, global financial leaders are expected to invest significantly into AI. However, it could also lead to troubling systematic risks and weaknesses.

The 16-page report recently released by the World Economic Forum was a result of a study on how executives intend to leverage artificial intelligence. One of the first challenges the authors encounters was defining the term artificial intelligence.

In fact, they ended up quoting interviews in which executives compared AI to machine learning as well as terming it as a subset of machine learning while others said it is not machine learning.

Nevertheless, over three-quarters of senior executives surveyed in the study agreed that adopting AI would be fundamental to their organization’s capability to differentiate themselves.

In general, executives utilized the term to refer to technology, which to some extent can detect patterns and learn independently as well as make decisions, develop foresight and connect with users. For instance, in financial service, utilizing AI to precisely project defaults or even offer personalized lending and deposit advice.

The WEF study pointed out various projects including Ping An Insurance (Group) co.’s OneConnect financial-management portal, and BlackRock Inc.’s risk-analytics software dubbed Aladdin.

Also, Deloitte’s senior capital markets and banking consultant Rob Galaski said that artificial intelligence is quickly transforming what it considers a successful financial institution. He also added that scale and speed would not be enough in retaining a foremost position, particularly in a world where AI-powered experiences and advice are key to differentiation.

Currently, Wall Street is quickly adopting machine learning, which is the technology at the core of the artificial intelligence buzz. Generally, finance firms boast plenty of data and incentive to innovate.

Both banks and hedge funds are presently recruiting AI researchers as fast as the can whereas the financial industry is trying out back-office automation considerably. Furthermore, high-frequency trading automation has built systematic risks as outlined by several flash crashes or runaway trading events.

A professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Andrew Lo, studies the problem of systematic risk in the financial system and has in the past warned that the whole system may be weak because of its high complexity.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) report dubbed The New Physics of Financial Services elicits other problems as well. In fact, it says that large technology companies would have a chance to get into finance mostly through tie-ins with financial companies. This is because of their skills in artificial intelligence and their access to consumer data.

According to McWaters, AI has become more broadly used in finance. As such, it is vital to consider matters such as biased algorithms that can discriminate against particular groups of individuals.

In addition, he added that financial companies ought not to be too eager in replacing staff either. Also, as the study recommends, human skills would remain fundamental even as automation becomes more mainstream.

Source MIT

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