Leaders from the fintech and artificial intelligence (AI) industry gathered in Parliament last night for a special debate on the ethical and regulatory challenges posed by the technology to the UK.
The “Fintech is Dead. Long Live FinAI” summit was organised by the Parliament Street think tank,
Over 70 industry experts, academics and chief executives attended the debate to discuss the impact AI will have on both the public and private sector, ahead of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s global AI summit in November.
The summit comes a day after Securities and Exchange Commission head Gary Gensler expressed his fears over the untramelled growth of AI, warning that it was “nearly unavoidable” that the technology will trigger a financial crisis within the decade.
Speaking at the Parliament summit, Michael Mortenson, Associate Professor, Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology noted: “We are seeing the rise of genAI. More than just picture and text generation, genAI’s ability to work with both human input and data analysis tools has the clear potential to semi-automate much of the traditional knowledge work we associate with finance roles.”
Jamie Beaumont, founder, Playter added: “One of the biggest problems I find is regulating something that you don’t know is very hard. The trajectory of AI has gone crazy over the last year, when we don’t know the next step or where AI will be in a year, how do we regulate?”
Dominic Duru, co-founder of DKK Partners said, “If you can’t understand you can’t regulate. The businesses are the ones that understand what needs to be stopped.”
It was a theme that was expounded upon by SEC chief Gensler in an interview with the FT, noting that regulating AI is a “hard challenge” because a host of financial institutions may all be using the same base models. In addition, these models could be developed not by the financial firms themselves but by technology companies that are not regulated by the SEC and other Wall Street watchdogs.
Gensler told the FT: “It’s a hard financial stability issue to address because most of our regulation is about individual institutions, individual banks, individual money market funds, individual brokers; it’s just in the nature of what we do. And this is about a horizontal [matter whereby] many institutions might be relying on the same underlying base model or underlying data aggregator.”
Uday Samant, Minister of Industries of Maharashtra, India, who was attending the summit as part of a trade mission, called for a closer working relationship between the UK and India on AI strategy, offering British firms financial incentives to invest in the country. Discussing his country’s capabilities and plans for development of a new AI park, he said: “The government provides state-of-the-art infrastructure within the AI Park, including office spaces, research facilities, and laboratories equipped with the latest AI technology. This minimises initial setup costs for companies.”