AI will never be able to replace these banking roles

Despite huge leaps in Artificial Intelligence, humans are still needed for critical positions to safeguard banks.
By: | September 5, 2019

While employees in the financial services industry worry about the introduction of AI technologies in the front and back office, there are roles that will be very hard to replace. And they sit within the compliance function, looking out for money laundering, fraud and other illicit transfers.

Each year, as much as US$2 trillion is transferred illicitly across the globe, despite more AI being introduced. Banks are facing more regulatory pressure to spot these illegal transfers and face hefty fines for breaches. To keep costs down, they have turned to AI and machine learning to detect fraud and the moving of dirty money.

The problem is that AI relies on customer data, which is often not available or incomplete. Banks that span multiple jurisdictions don’t often share data, neither do national law enforcement agencies.

Without this accurate and complete dataset available, training machines is very difficult and they can’t accurately detect suspicious transfers.

At the same time, criminals constantly adapt their tactics, finding new ways to move cash around the banking system. When their methods change even slightly, AI struggles to stay ahead of the criminals.

‘’Computers may be clever, but human beings are much smarter,” said Alibaba founder Jack Ma recently during a debate with Elon Musk in Shanghai. “We invented the computer – I’ve never seen a computer invent a human being’’.