The emerging role of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services has become a focus point across all sections of the industry. Seemingly every conference and industry event now hosts a panel examining AI’s potential to disrupt multiple areas within capital markets, banking and insurance. A simple definition of AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machines, computers and software. At its core, the capacity of AI to respond autonomously to phenomena—sometimes in ways that software programmers cannot anticipate—is what makes the technology so distinct. Methods of AI include learning, reasoning and perception, with self-learning machines incorporating a cross-disciplinary approach based upon myriad criteria and subject matter.
An SAP survey, conducted in collaboration with WatersTechnology, sampled the views of 120 respondents from capital markets firms based in the US, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Banks and brokers accounted for the majority of those surveyed at 68.5 percent, while buy-side firms accounted for 7.4 percent and technology firms made up of 14.8 percent of total survey respondents. The remaining respondents comprised exchanges and trading venues (2.8 percent), regulatory agencies (3.7 percent) and custodians (2.8 percent).
While AI has been a topic of discussion across the financial services industry for a number of years, only recently has this technology become a hot topic. AI has made the transition from peripheral niche to a technology supporting key business-critical functions.