AI threatens financial services workers: Report

An overwhelming number (83%) of Australian financial services workers are concerned artificial intelligence (AI) technology will take over their jobs.

That's according to technology and consulting firm Infosys' Leadership in the Age of AI report, which surveyed more than 1000 business and IT leaders globally.

Forty per cent of Australian organisations have made positions redundant resulting from advancements in AI; 87% of IT leaders said such deployments are greatly outpacing the accuracy and productivity of humans performing the same task.

Nine out of 10 executives using AI are "far from the humanistic robots people see in sci-fi movies," but algorithms capable of learning and constantly improving specific processes to automate and solve business challenges, Infosys regional head for Australia and New Zealand Andrew Groth said.

AI deployment to-date is predominantly in the areas of machine learning (51%), automated reasoning (48%), robotics (47%), knowledge representation (44%) and natural language processing (39%).

Groth said businesses using AI understand the integral role human skills like creativity and problem solving play in the future workplace.

"Jobs won't be disappearing; they will be evolving and it's encouraging that 43% of business leaders in the financial sector are planning to increase training in the functions affected most by AI deployments or are looking to redeploy employees to new functional areas (48%)," he said.

AI is also introducing new roles - a third (35%) of executives in finance are hiring new employees with different skillsets capable of fully harnessing the technology, Groth added.

Executives in the banking and insurance sectors plan to build a dedicated team of AI professionals in the near future; 78% of leaders said future business strategies hinge on AI.

However, the same proportion are having a difficult time finding qualified staff to lead AI technology integration - a key skills gap holding Australian businesses back, Groth said. For 43% of financial services firms, the risks of security and privacy concerns pose as a major drawback.

Read more: AIArtificial intelligenceInfosysAndrew GrothInfosys AustraliaLeadership in the Age of AIMachine learning
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