In September 2016 IBM announced its plans to purchase of Promontory Financial Group, a consulting firm specializing in financial regulation and risk management consulting. As a result, Promontory’s 600 employees will be tasked with training IBM’s artificial intelligence machine, Watson, to assist in risk management, financial regulation, and compliance activities for the firm. This move is not intended to replace financial regulators, but it will mean fewer of them will be needed to do the administrative aspects of the job, enabling them to focus on more challenging tasks and complex cases.
Palantir Technologies is another company using artificial intelligence to improve efficiency, specifically in big data mining. Two of its offerings, Gotham and Metropolis, collect large amounts of disparate data and finds connections or patterns that would not be immediately obvious to humans. These tools have been used for a variety of activities, including fighting cybercrime and detecting fraudulent financial transactions, as well as for anti terrorism and spy-craft activities.
These two cases, IBM’s move to integrate Watson as a support tool for Promontory’s consultants and Palantir Technologies’ Gotham and Metropolis are examples of a trend where human analysts are supported but not replaced by deep learning technologies.
They are also reflective of the two roles artificial intelligence can play in today’s world. It can be a support mechanism that makes routine processes more efficient, eliminates human error, and it works in complement with people. Alternatively, with its ability to process large amounts of information more rapidly and accurately than humans, artificial intelligence can expose connections or anomalies that humans may not readily see.
Overall, there is a lot of potential for the evolution of this technology and its application to work activities and processes, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming years.