How is the development of AI (artificial intelligence) a challenge for the finance departments?

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Far from being present only in the scenarios of futuristic science fiction movies, AI is already present in many companies. In Hong Kong, a “robot” was appointed at the board of directors of a Japanese company, Deep Knowledge Venture, with the same voting power as his colleagues!

Should we fear the disappearance of “human” work?

Just as the automation of tasks raised fears of man being replaced by tge machine during the last industrial revolution, progressive computerization then aroused fear of the dehumanization of work. Though, who can today still deny the benefits that such a breakthrough has brought in their daily lives?.

The same is likely to be true of the latest technological advances in AI. Machine learning and other AI-related innovations are tools which are aimed at improving the processing of tasks which are often technical and tedious and, just as some are no longer carried out by humans, on chains For example, the improvements made possible by these technologies shall certainly make many “human” skills obsolete in the short term. For example, the Associated Press in the United States already uses an AI to generate financial communications press releases that appear to be written by a journalist! Likewise, some companies use these innovative tools for their recruitments: by reviewing all the databases where candidates submit their CVs and cross-referencing these with the sought-after skills, the “machines” accomplish a job that is difficult to achieve by only one person.

How can the company support this change?

However, such changes can only take place gradually in the company, if they are supported by the Board, both in terms of skills development and team adaptation to this new environment.

Within finance departments, for example, an essential link in the company, it is necessary to outline the job categories impacted by these innovations, not only to quantify their impact on the payroll, but also to anticipate and implement the training and personal development actions for the latter. While it is predictable that half of current skills will be obsolete by 2020, this also means that many positions which shall emerge in the next 20 years, if not a majority, do not yet exist! Therefore, financial services are at crossroads with both responsibility and opportunity for such changes to imply. By showing the example and taking on AI technologies in collaboration with their teams, these services will be able to illustrate the reduction of transactional tasks but also the improvement of achievable processes for the benefit of everyone within the company. The CFOs (Administrative and Financial Departments) have an key role, in terms of transformation towards innovative smart technologies.


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