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63% of Chief Executives Concerned About Possible Unintended Consequences of AI Implementation: EY

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of financial service bosses are concerned that not enough is being done to prepare the sector for potential unintended consequences of artificial intelligence (AI); reveals the latest EY ‘CEO Outlook Pulse’ survey.

A number of concerns are related to the threat of ‘bad actors’ using AI to spread misinformation or generate deep fakes, alongside concerns regarding privacy risks and ethical usage of generative AI technology.

Patrice Latinne, data and artificial intelligence financial services partner at EY
Patrice Latinne, data and artificial intelligence financial services partner at EY

Despite the emergence of significant levels of concern, the financial sector continues to plough ahead with AI adoption. Ninety of the 96 chief executives surveyed during the EY research revealed they are pursuing the addition of AI. Meanwhile, over half have already invested in the implementation of AI technology at their firm.

Patrice Latinne, EY EMEIA data and artificial intelligence financial services partner, discussed the basis of concerns surrounding the AI space: “AI is infinitely innovative, which, while exciting, comes with challenges.

“Governance and transparency are increasingly crucial to the safe use of artificial intelligence, and, with many exercising caution, building confidence focused on the exponential value to be created will be fundamental to successful implementation.”

Prioritising a “safety-first approach” during AI adoption

Dr Yi Ding, assistant professor of information systems at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology, commented: “Innovation is key for the financial services industry and limiting AI research and implementation will only hold the sector back.

Dr Yi Ding, assistant professor of information systems at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology
Dr Yi Ding, assistant professor of information systems at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology

“As with any new technology, organisations must be aware of the risks it poses, but artificial intelligence has already proven itself a valuable tool for tasks such as data analysis to support the detection of financial criminals, chatbots to support customer service in online banking, and forecasting to support strategic decision making for business growth. Missing out on these benefits is not an option for such a fast-moving sector.

“The financial services sector should embrace the R&D programmes being undertaken by academic institutions for the trustworthy development of AI and prioritise a safety-first approach during its adoption.

“Once staff are given proper training, and organisations mitigate the risks, they will be able to reap the significant benefits that AI has to offer the industry.”

Sheeraz Saleem, chief technology officer at FX management consultancy DKK Partners
Sheeraz Saleem, CTO at DKK Partners

Sheeraz Saleem, chief technology officer at foreign exchange service provider DKK Partners, also explained his view: “AI should be harnessed as a deputy to excel business operations and work hand-in-hand with staff to also enhance their employee experience.

“The financial sector can benefit greatly from using AI to help make better-informed decisions, using algorithms to process and extract data to get the best results. Risk analysis can be conducted alongside its use, and we should continue to work on how AI is coded to think to get its optimum usage for different markets.”

“Exposing and highlighting any biases will move the financial sector forward”
Jonathan Young, group chief information officer at FDM Group
Jonathan Young, group chief information officer at FDM Group

Jonathan Young, CIO of international recruitment company FDM Group, said: “AI can not only be used to supercharge digital transformation strategies, helping organisations efficiently provide reliable, on-demand services and reduce costs, but it can also help improve the hiring of talent.

“AI can be used to help the financial sector uncover the significant gap in DE&I that needs tackling as well as the digital skills shortage, which remains an unresolved and key topic in the UK. It is believed that if we are to address the issue correctly, we should be thinking about the ‘missing 10 per cent and the missing 34 per cent’ of groups underrepresented in IT.

“We are using AI in our application processes to reveal how members of underrepresented groups ‘feel’ and speak about working in the IT industry. Exposing and highlighting any biases will move the financial sector forward and in turn help enhance the UK financial ecosystem.”

Author

  • Tom joined The Fintech Times in 2022 as part of the operations team; later joining the editorial team as a journalist.

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