Not too long ago, AI seemed a distant dream for especially interested researchers. Today it is all around us. We carry it in our pockets on a smartphone, it›s in our cars and in many of the web services we use throughout the day. The technology has now matured to a level where it, regardless of future progress in the field, is set to disrupt almost any technology based industry1.
Av ESA LEPORANTA, Systems Audit Manager, Nets Branch Norway
Where computer systems once had to be programmed to execute rigidly defined tasks, they can now be given a generalized strategy for learning, enabling them to adapt to new data inputs without being explicitly reprogrammed.
There is a focus on AI now because three elements have come together and created an inflexion point: computing power, sophisticated algorithms and vast amounts of data, says Matthew Davey, managing director, global head of business solutions, Société Générale Securities Services. As daunting as AI may seem for many banks, industry analyst Celent2 believes that most institutions should be exploring at least the basic forms of AI, as it will have an impact on front, middle and back offices at banks3. According to Computer Sweden, banks have taken the lead in implementing virtual assistants. Increased competition between banks, customer benefits4 and reduced costs5 are mentioned as three main reasons for this development.
«Most institutions should explore the basic forms of AI.»
At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours. The program, called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, does the mind-numbing job of interpreting commercial-loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 hours of work each year by lawyers and loan officers. The software reviews documents in seconds, is less error-prone and never asks for vacation. The internal systems at this New York-based bank, a hybrid from decades of mergers, had too many redundant software programs that didn’t work together seamlessly. After visiting companies including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. three years ago to understand how their developers worked, the bank set out to create its own computing cloud called Gaia that went online last year6.
According to Casper von Koskull, President and Group CEO of Nordea, Nordea is working to create an efficient and scalable bank for the future by building capabilities and automating processes with support from close to 200 robots in production and having the first live chatbot with AI in Norway7.
All this AI development came to the fore last year, when a program called AlphaGo beat the reigning human world champion at «go», an ancient Chinese board game considered to be one of the most complex pastimes man has ever devised. The game has remained as one of the hardest challenges for artificial intelligence because of the vast number of possible moves — more than the number of atoms in the universe — and the need to employ creativity to win. To crush 18-times world champion Lee Sedol, AlphaGo trained the game for the equivalent of 3000 years8. Now, an even more superior competitor is in town. AlphaGo Zero has beaten AlphaGo 100-0 after training for just a fraction of the time needed by AlphaGo by playing against itself9.
According to Microsoft’s Bill Gates, humans should be worried about the threat posed by Artificial intelligence. His view has been backed up by the likes of Mr Musk and Professor Stephen Hawking, who have both warned about the possibility that AI could evolve to the point that it was beyond human control10.
Artificial intelligence and other technologies will cause people «more pain than happiness » over the next three decades, according to Jack Ma, the chairman and founder of Alibaba. «Machines should only do what humans cannot, » he said. «Only in this way can we have the opportunities to keep machines as working partners with humans, rather than as replacements.» Even so, Ma acknowledged that in the future companies will likely be run by robots11.
CTO of Fujitsu, Dr. Joseph Reger compares the future of artificial intelligence to the threat of nuclear weapons. In order to avoid nuclear weapons, there are international agreements, agreed policies and global control. «There are no such rules when looking at the machine learning and artificial intelligence.» «We need to discuss what this means for humanity, and agree on the rules of the game.»
The development of artificial intelligence is considered to be progressing exponentially in three stages. Now we are in the first phase, that is, in the narrow artificial intelligence phase. The computer can perform very simple tasks from large data streams faster and more accurately than a person. The second stage, which can go on for several decades, is about the level of general artificial intelligence.
«Machines should only do what humans cannot.»
«Then the computer is performing better than any human being from almost any reasoning. » This stage of development is surely coming, but it is not sure whether it will last 20 or 30 years or longer. In the future, a third step is super AI. «At this point, the artificial intelligence performs better than humans in all computation and reasoning.» Dr. Reger says that the third stage means that artificial intelligence can itself create a new artificial intelligence. «Here, the computer begins to consider whether it needs more help from people.»
To avoid this, Dr. Reger says that everyone has to understand this topic as it will revolutionize all aspects of life. «This is how we have decided to work in Fujitsu.» We start training machine training and artificial intelligence in different forms at all levels of our organization, not just information management and managing director, as the phenomenon is connected to all digital developments12.
Many industry experts are also concerned about the possibility of discriminatory practices that could come from using AI systems. For instance, Facebook’s advertising mechanism allowed advertisers to exclude certain groups based on race, gender and other factors that are prohibited when advertising employment or housing; Facebook has since updated its system to prevent those advertisers from using those traits to target their advertising13.
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world as an industrial revolution, but it has a multiple impact, according to a Finnish start-up entrepreneur, economist Maria Ritola. «The exponential development of artificial intelligence changes the world just like electricity,» Ritola said in his speech at the European Commission Spring Seminar in 2017. «Everything is changing as a result of this development. It´s a cold fact.»
Ritola is a founding member of Iris AI, a small business organization, and belongs to a few Finnish AI operators. Founded in 2015, Iris AI has been selected as one of the ten most innovative companies in the world.
Established in Norway this London-based start-up has a big target: its founders want to promote the exploitation of science and solve the world´s major problems by means of artificial intelligence. Iris AI, which has accessed up to 30 million open source research papers, helps companies, start-ups, and researchers find research into new innovations. AI also offers incredible opportunities in addition to the threats, Ritola remarks. According to her, 3,000 research articles, over 60,000 books and 200,000 news articles are published every day. The amount of existing data is huge and no one can read and internalize more than a fraction of it.
«The positive news is that computing power is growing even faster than data, followed by an exponential curve, doubling its power every two years as shown by Moore´s law.» This computing power together with data creates the potential that we have not previously seen», she says14.
A survey commissioned by the US authorities showed that 83 percent of low-paid workers could be replaced by machines. This applies primarily to jobs performing repetitive tasks, such as in fast food chains or warehouses. The occupations that will not be touched by AI, are the ones where people work with people, such as kindergarten teachers, psychologists and personal trainers15.
Michael Chui, James Manyika and Mehdi Miremadi from McKinsey claim that automation will eliminate very few professions altogether, but will affect almost all jobs. In some cases, increased use of machines will not cause the number of tasks carried out by people to be reduced as a result of a rise in total demand16.
Dagens Næringsliv, the Norwegian business publication, wrote this summer about a robot in the AF Group that will control every slate stone to the new National Museum. The robot is managed from an app and records inventories, orders and makes changes to such orders. According to Morten Grongstad, Group CEO of AF Gruppen, this innovation has given very clear benefits and he believes such measures are important for strengthening the competitiveness of Norwegian industry17.
«Everyone has to understand this topic.»
One of the world´s largest active investment funds18, Man Group, has used AI since 2014. In 2015, artificial intelligence contributed to about half of the returns in one of Man Group›s largest funds, although AI only had control of a small proportion of the total assets. According to Nick Granger, who launched the testing of AI in Man Group, the structure and management of such systems are labour-intensive requiring the need for employees with new types of expertise for a long time to come19.
Norwegian business leaders should read up on AI, because here´s money to earn, says Associate Professor Morten Goodwin in Norwegian School of Economics. According to Mr. Goodwin, AI is used much more often abroad. Companies like Facebook and Google use the technology to sort data. In Norway, data sets are smaller and it becomes more difficult to see the advantages of using AI20. For workers of the future, the ability to adapt their skills to the changing needs of the workplace will be critical. Lifelong learning must become the norm – and for the moment, the reality falls far short of the necessity21. IIA’s paper, Artificial Intelligence – Considerations for the Profession of IA, strongly supports this view by stating that also internal auditors must understand IA basics by growing their competencies in several areas22.
According to McKinsey23, early evidence suggests that AI can deliver real value to serious adopters and can be a powerful force for disruption. AI’s dependence on a digital foundation and the fact that it often must be trained on unique data mean that there are no shortcuts for firms. Early adopters are creating competitive advantages, and the gap to the laggards looks set to grow.
AI poses also some challenges, described among others by Edlich and Sohoni24 and in a paper of Finextra25, but the advantages look bigger. The chair of Nokia, Risto Siilasmaa, started to study artificial intelligence in the University of Stanford this summer. He suggests that we have a way to go until AI operates at the same intelligence levels as cats or human beings, but all companies should think what information it needs in the future to train its AI better than its competitors26.
1 The New Wave of Artificial Intelligence, Whitepaper, EVRY
2 https://www.celent.com/ insights/940768915
3 http://www.bankingtech. com/1019722/artificial-intelligence- the-shape-of-things-to-come/
4 https://computersweden.idg. se/2.2683/1.676415/banker-leder- ai-bottar
5 http://www.bankingtech. com/1019722/artificial-intelligence- the-shape-of-things-to-come/
6 https://www.bloomberg.com/ news/articles/2017-02-28/ jpmorgan-marshals-an-army- of-developers-to-automate- high-finance
7 https://www.nordea.com/Images/ 33-230367/Nordea%20 Transformation%202017-10-27. pdf
8 Talouselämä, 38/2017, Nokian Risto Siilasmaa opiskelee tekoälyä. Sinunkin pitäisi.
9 https://www.theregister. co.uk/2017/10/18/deepminds_ latest_alphago_software_doesnt_ need_human_data_to_win
11 https://www.theguardian.com/ technology/2017/apr/24/alibaba- jack-ma-artificial-intelligence- more-pain-than-happiness
12 http://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/ tekniikka/ict/fujitsu-johtaja- varoittaa-tekoalyn-vaaroista- voi-olla-ihmiskunnan- kauhistuttavin-ase-6644724
13 https://www.paymentssource. com/news/simility-combines-3- d-secure-with-ai-in-new-version- of-is-e-commerce-fraud-platform
14 http://www.talouselama.fi/uutiset/ suomalaisyrittaja-varoittaa-tekoaly- pyyhkaisee-suuremmalla-voimalla- kuin-teollinen-vallankumous- vaikutuksiltaan-3-000-kertainen- ilmio-6650301?_ga =2.77254805.1013179845. 1495435805- 1704214623.1485511675
15 Artificial Intelligence – er norske bedriftsledere klare?, NHH symposiet 22-23 mars. 2017
16 McKinsey Quarterly, Where machines could replace humans – and where they can’t (yet), July 2016
17 DN, Stokk dum robot har stålkontroll på hver stein til Nasjonalmuseet, 9. juni 2017
18 http://nordic.businessinsider. com/here-are-the-11-top-dogssof- the-hedge-fund-industry- 2017-6?r=US&IR=T
19 Artificial Intelligence – er norske bedriftsledere klare?, NHH symposiet 22-23 mars. 2017
20 https://www.bloomberg.com/ news/features/2017-09-27/ the-massive-hedge-fund-betting- on-ai
21 Getting ready for the future of the work, McKinsey Quarterly, September 2017
22 The Institute of Internal Auditors, Artificial Intelligence – Considerations for the Profession of Internal Auditing, 2017.
23 McKinsey Global Institute, Discussion Paper, Artificial Intelligence The Next Digital Frontier?, June 2017
24 Burned by the bots: Why robotic automation is stumbling, Digital McKinsey, 24. May 2017
25 A research Paper from Finextra – The Next Big Wave: How financial institutions can stay ahead of the AI revolution, May 2017
26 Talouselämä, 38/2017, Nokian Risto Siilasmaa opiskelee tekoälyä. Sinunkin pitäisi.