The Rise of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence


Technological singularity. The rise of the machines. The end of the world. Hollywood blockbusters are full of doomsday predictions about the dangers of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). As robots become smarter, there is a popular perception that this will start – rather literally – the end of the world, whether that’s through some apocalyptic societal collapse or simply the elimination of jobs in what has been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

If we look past the hype or hysteria of the misunderstood, we find that smarter machines mean more interesting jobs while employers gain from more accurate and insightful analysis. It certainly does not spell the end of the world.

With recent advances in machine learning, intelligent programs are sifting through mountains of data, something with which those of us in financial industries are all too familiar, allowing us to eliminate tedious, manual tasks and to manipulate big data to find the diamonds in the rough that power our best employees.

And unlike many futuristic technologies populating the realms of science fiction – flying cars, long-distance space travel and more – rapid benefits in machine learning are happening here and now. As such, it’s at best a waste and at worst reckless for the capital markets industry to miss out on these opportunities.

This is why forward-thinking companies in our industry are actively engaged in emerging technologies and their impact on the financial services sector.

While popular media outlets seem solely concerned with consumer aspects, like reducing fraud through big data analysis or enabling chat bots to augment support services, we are focused on the back-end, business-to-business aspect. Great strides are already being made, applying advances in machine learning to banking and capital markets, beginning the groundwork for what will surely be huge improvements and advances on the client-side.

In fact, GFT’s Digital Innovation Lab is using recent advances to enhance our services and to develop prototypes for new ones, like augmented reality (AR) forex trading with voice control, in an effort to help financial analysts to quickly and naturally react to market changes (watch the video here).

However, we believe we cannot do it alone.

At GFT, we are actively aligning ourselves with massive global players, building, testing and exploring new tech applications. We recently joined Google’s Partner Program to deploy our distributed ledger test infrastructure for banks on Google’s Cloud Platform. By partnering with Google, we are helping our global banking clients to simulate real-world distributed ledger models within a globally distributed and scalable test environment.

For example, we recently tested real-world blockchain applications for Royal Bank of Scotland by collaborating with Google to trial the technology, demonstrating a faster, resilient and more cost-effective future for payments.

More intelligent machines will be a boon for many sectors, but the financial industry has the most to gain due to the huge volume of data that must sorted through minute by minute. Better AI will allow financial organizations to take their best and brightest talent and supercharge their efficiency and accuracy with information collected by machines. Instead of replacing humans, we should consider these gains in artificial intelligence and machine learning as human augmentation, making us all smarter and more effective.

Besides, what could be scarier in the financial world than the ever-evolving regulatory and compliance landscape – and keeping up with it all?