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Artificial intelligence in financial services: the need for a cautious revolution

Artificial intelligence is seeping into the financial sector with vague promises of renewal and efficiency. It is neither a necessary evil nor a panacea, but a technological reality that we must come to terms with. It is transforming finance, not on a whim, but out of necessity and opportunity.

Some fine promises…

Automation and sophisticated data analysis make fraud detection quicker, transactions more secure and confidence more assured. Chatbots and other digital avatars are revolutionising customer relationships by serving customers night and day.  They personalise interactions, making each service more adapted, more immediate. Robo-advisers are making investment advice accessible to all, at a lower cost, with an almost artisanal precision.

… but not without challenges

Nevertheless, AI has its pitfalls. Ethical considerations are legion – confidentiality, equity, transparency. The algorithms, as powerful as they are, can also get things wrong or worse, can be discriminatory, if they are not scrupulously monitored and regulated. The financial sector, by embracing AI wholeheartedly, must ensure that the technology does not become a Trojan horse, introducing risks and inequalities in the guise of progress.

Ultimately, AI is a tool; it is up to us to decide how to use it. If we guide its development wisely and cautiously, it can enrich and enlighten the financial sector; if we fail, it can just as easily compromise it. Let’s take the reins of this revolution and choose the path of optimism and responsibility.

 


David Chollet – Partner, Accuracy
Accuracy Talks Straight #10 – One Partner, One View (Editorial)