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The Future Investment Initiative (FII7) conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, held an engaging panel discussion exploring the impact of generative AI on the financial industry. As the moderator of this session, I had the privilege of facilitating a dynamic conversation with fellow panelists Antoine Blondeau, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital, and Nicolas Cary, Vice Chairman of Together, we discussed the profound transformations AI is poised to bring to the world of finance.

The panel discussed four primary areas where AI is set to influence the financial world: back-office operations, customer-facing services, investment decision-making, and the associated risks.

One standout example of AI’s potential lies in back-office operations. Nicolas Cary illustrated how a large FinTech company achieved an over 50% productivity increase within three months by implementing its AI-based customer support system. This sped up response times and reduced operational costs, showcasing how AI enhances efficiency while delivering improved service.

Antoine emphasized the democratization of finance through AI. He highlighted the ability of AI to broaden access to financial products, especially for the unbanked and lesser-banked populations, thus raising the standards of living for many.

Our panel discussed the impact on investment decision-making and trading, with Antoine sharing his experience building an AI-enabled hedge fund. The conversation touched on the challenge of the use of AI in making trading decisions in noisy and unpredictable public markets. 

Both panelists agreed that AI’s role in predicting future trends and sentiments would likely become more pivotal, leading to potentially more efficient and informed investment strategies.

However, its use in making investment decisions has its limitations. Nicolas pointed out that AI isn’t very good at modeling real-time world events. He also stressed that companies not embracing AI today may experience decreasing relative productivity and urged workforce empowerment and AI skill development.

We also discussed that increasing concentration of data in big tech companies might lead to a ‘herding’ phenomenon in the markets, driving more volatility. The intersection of AI, data privacy, and market stability became a crucial point of discussion.

There was agreement on the transformative potential of generative AI in the finance sector, empowering a broader range of customers, enhancing efficiency, and revolutionizing investment decision-making. We acknowledged the hurdles and risks of AI in the finance sector but remained optimistic about the profound impact that AI could have on the financial landscape, calling for responsible, informed, and inclusive AI adoption. You can watch our full discussion here.

Written by:

John B. Quinn