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How artificial intelligence is revolutionising finance

How artificial intelligence is revolutionising finance

This article explores the impact of AI on the finance sector and workforce.

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savvas-koufou

Director, Financial Services, People Consulting

KPMG in the UK

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The digital revolution is here and there’s no denying that technology is moving at such a pace even the greatest of us are struggling to keep up. The major topic on everyone’s lips right now of course is AI, this year alone we have seen huge advancements in AI technology from the likes of Google who only a few months ago released the Google Assistant (Duplex) to the world. An AI algorithm now capable of calling restaurants and booking reservations for us using natural language processing and Machine Learning, in such a way the real life person on the other end doesn’t know they are simply talking to a machine. The impact of this in time to come will be astronomical. Imagine when this is capable of becoming the new mobile phone and home technology of the future!

The elephant in the room of course is, does this mean AI will replace human jobs? The answer to this is yes but not all jobs. We must be realistic and say it will replace some of the tasks we perform in our current roles. A recent report from Gartner suggests that while AI may change up to 1.8 million traditional jobs. It will create 2.3 million new jobs in replacement. This means that AI will fundamentally impact the day to day of what we do. AI isn’t here to replace us, it’s here to enhance us and make us more efficient and that’s the mind shift we need to take with us as we embark on this new job share journey of human and machine.

How will this impact the finance sector?

At the World Economic forum last year many financial leaders agreed that banking faced one of its biggest turning points yet in regards to technology. With some likening it to the Uber revolution.

With the finance sector set to be one of the biggest industries to be revolutionised by the automation of AI it is critical we establish impacts to various roles early and start to train and reskill your workforce now. Areas such as Risk assessment, Fraud detection and management, financial advisory, trading, retail banking and customer care are set to be some of the main areas impacted by AI. The saviour who will help to navigate you through these times of change will become your Learning departments. 

How will learning help me to shape the workforce of the future?

First of all we must recognise the fact, our organisations are about to embark on a fundamental culture shift. The biggest task ahead will be finding the balance between human and machine. This means we will have to reskill people on how to work with the new technology by using new technology. If we are truly going to adapt to a more digital way of working then we have to learn in a digital way. 

  • Make learning more accessible – If we are serious about reskilling our workforce then we have to make learning more accessible, gone are the days when a Learning Managed Solution (LMS) is simply enough. Your learning solutions need to be device agnostic, content needs to be easy to find and easy to consume and fit in user habits. Look to micro learning as your future strategy if it isn’t there already.
  • Mobile learning – Gartner predicts that over 45% of businesses will have a BYOD policy by 2020. With many reports showing how mobile learning is driving higher percentages of engagement, better knowledge retention rates and helping business to promote a culture of continuous learning. This will be crucial if we are to quickly prepare our workforce for the challenges ahead.
  • AI - AI is predicted to revolutionise the way the world learns, even pitched by some of the most renowned L&D thought leaders as the new window to learning. With big learning providers now heavily investing in AI chat bots and content design tools, it’s clear to see the way the future of learning is also moving. Chatbots in particular have a dominant focus, talk is already rife of how they will become the new learning user interface (UI) of the future. Meaning the LMS as we know it will cease to be window to content, instead this will move under the hood and become what is now being discussed as the invisible LMS. Using chat bots in this way will help to normalise the use of AI to your learners and demonstrate one of the many ways AI can enhance the human experience.
  • Social learning is key - Social learning enhances corporate culture and fosters workplace collaboration. We humans are naturally social beings who need to feel part of a group. Learners that are able to support and be supported by other learners are more likely to feel that they’re part of something bigger and are motivated to pay that feeling forward to other employees. Social platforms are now the number one way in which we communicate and consume content in the outside world. Having a social learning tool will be a powerful asset in the times ahead and a cost effective way of sharing knowledge and materials to the masses. 
  • L&D becomes a power house of analytics - as we move in to a more data driven world, analytics will continue to play a major role. Solutions such as Power BI have been designed specifically to help organisations track immediate insights in to what is happening in their organisations real time. The advances in learning solutions such as mobile apps and AI will now give learning functions the ability to truly help drive key business decisions through predictive analytics. Imagine if the learning function could help you to predict changes in workforce planning, highlight historical patterns and predict future patterns and behaviours so you are always ready to address challenges and change.

Final thoughts 

The road ahead may for now seem uncertain, change is coming and for some of us it’s already here. However we must see this as an opportunity to change the way in which we work for the better. More efficient, more collaborative and more sustainable, that is our future. There will be challenges ahead, the culture change will be huge, do not take that lightly. Work with L&D and other learning providers to address this as early as possible, don’t be afraid to invest in new solutions and plan ahead. 

 

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