World Economic Forum has released “the largest global empirical” research results AI in Financial Services, covering 33 countries. In collaboration with the Cambridge team, researchers have surveyed 151 respondents among industry executives with a goal to provide data for understanding how AI is changing the financial industry.

It turns out that the significant number of executives believe that financial industry will witness mass adoption of AI tech within the next two years. More than 70% of respondents predict that the adoption of AI tech will be of high or very high importance to their business in two years period of time.

Most of the executives also anticipate that mass adoption will apply not only to core business, but broadly on core key business functions, including customer service and risk management.

So far, only 16% of executives has shown that they employ AI, but the number is almost 3x in the domain of risk management, which is expected “to become the most important usage area within two years”, reads the report.

It is only worth noting, that executives not only believe in mass adoption, but see AI is a “key lever for success”, while the gap between tech savvy and more traditional companies is expected to widen.

FinTech industry is predicted to benefit most from AI adoption, with 30% respondents already indicating ROI increase, as they use AI for improving their core offerings. Moreover, the trend shows that Fintech sector can even provide AI as a service, broadening their income streams.

On the other side, Fintech sector employees are also more vulnerable to losing their jobs to machines: this sector anticipated cutting staff 19%, while financial industry as a whole plans to replace nearly 9%.

The major perceived obstacles for all financial industry in adopting AI, and therefore in staying competitive, are quality of the data, access to data and talent gaps. Almost 40% of respondents also named regulations as a negative factor, but 30% attributed it to positive ones.

One fifth of the respondents believe that their companies are not ready to face AI-induced risks. Some companies are already setting up the teams to mitigate potential risks, connected to the wider usage of AI.

As Future Time reported earlier, another study estimated that automated financial advisory industry will reach $1.4 trillion already this year.

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