The FT conducted a survey of 30 leading banks’ use of AI and revealed that despite the hype the reality is much more complicated with an industry excited about the prospects of a technology that can help cut costs and boost returns, but current efforts to apply machine learning are modest. Rather than racing towards an AI-enabled future, the industry is feeling its way forward.
“There are too many people making these statements [about big cost and job impacts],” says Foteini Agrafioti, head of Royal Bank of Canada’s AI research arm Borealis. “The problems we have solved are very narrow,” she adds. “The misconception is that humans and machines can perform at the same level. There’s still a long way to go and many challenges we need to solve before a machine can operate [at a level] even near the human mind.” Professor Patrick Henry Winston, who headed MIT’s AI lab between 1972 and 1997 and is now a Ford professor at the institute, shares Ms Agrafioti’s concerns about its limitations.