Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Are Worries Over AI’s Effect on the Financial Jobs Market Warranted?

A recent study by Fountech has revealed that two-thirds of adults living in the UK are concerned that the Artificial Intelligence industry will leave them redundant and jobless. This statistic should come as no surprise, as anxiety about AI with regards to the job market has been happening for decades now. While people were able to ignore their worries in the past and simply brush it off, doing so is getting harder by the year as AI continues to make strides. Recent developments in areas such as reading comprehension and autonomous driving make it tougher than ever to avoid thinking about AI. While we are still far from having a machine with human-like intelligence, we certainly do have programs and tools which can perform specific tasks with a level of efficiency beyond that of many people.

It is fair to say that this job-based anxiety is justified. Jobs will go, but we should consider what it will do to some of our most established industries. Namely, the financial industry, an area that is arguably in much need of some change.

AI and finance

There are multiple companies marrying AI and finance together. The two work well specifically because contemporary finance relies heavily on large sources of data and complex algorithmic programs. Data reading and manipulation is the exact area where AI thrives, so bringing it into the industry makes a serious amount of sense. Additionally, finance is an area where AI might not actually replace too many jobs, as human operators will always be needed to check and confirm particular decisions.

Here are three companies in the financial world who are openly embracing AI:

ZestFinance

ZestFinance is an underwriting service that is using AI to help evaluate its users’ economic history so as to determine what types of assets may be suitable for borrowing. Their machine learning tool, by the name of ZAML, can be issued out to other organizations so that they can use it to determine which customers are eligible for borrowing. It works with issuing mortgages, insurances, and can also verify data for consumer and commercial lending.

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Velas

Velas is a blockchain that primarily runs on artificial intuition (a specific subset of artificial intelligence). It uses AI to control certain aspects of the blockchain such as releasing block rewards, verification of blocks, and what speed the Velas network should be running at. Its algorithm has been trained using backpropagation, meaning that it initially learned what to do by carefully monitoring others, and also through its own attempts within controlled environments. Velas’ own cryptocurrency (VLX) runs on this blockchain, with AI being used to ensure that it is both secure and commercially usable.

Kensho

Kensho has been using machine learning algorithms to analyze huge datasets for leading financial giants such as Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. By searching and reorganizing graphs, stock charts, and spreadsheets, Kensho’s machine learning tools are able to find nuanced trends and patterns, the likes of which would take humans exponentially longer to do, therefore saving serious amounts of time.

These three companies are leading the way in Fintech and proving that Artificial Intelligence already has a lot to offer us as a society. It is undeniable that AI will bring about job losses, however, it should be noted that all these companies still rely on human interactions, intellect, and (most importantly) human decision making. AI is smoothly integrating into our economy but it will likely always need people. While we should keep in mind the potential jobs being lost, we should also keep in mind the fact that AI is bringing our world towards new remits which were not possible just a few years ago.

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