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What is Artificial Intelligence?

A recent FCA discussion paper, DP22/4: Artificial Intelligence, offered the following definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI):

‘It is generally accepted that AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machines, including the use of computer systems, which have the ability to perform tasks that demonstrate learning, decision-making, problem solving, and other tasks which previously required human intelligence. Machine learning is a sub-branch of AI.

AI, a branch of computer science, is complex and evolving in terms of its precise definition. It is broadly seen as part of a spectrum of computational and mathematical methodologies that include innovative data analytics and data modelling techniques.’

Many PIMFA members are already using AI systems and tools in their day-to-day operations and the likely adoption of AI in financial services will increase rapidly over the next few years.

PIMFA firms already use AI tools for several purposes. For example, they analyse large volumes of data quickly, easily, and accurately, which enables them to spend more time working with and for their clients.


There are concerns that as AI becomes more advanced, it could introduce new risks, for example:

system develops biases in its decision making

leading firms to make bad

rESULTING IN Poor outcomes for their clients

This is why it is essential that firms deploying AI systems have a suitably robust control framework around their AI components to keep a careful check on what they are doing.

As with any innovation, AI has potential to make fundamental improvements in how firms can serve their clients. However, we must ensure it is continually monitored and checked regularly.

Want to know more about Artificial Intelligence and what PIMFA are doing?

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