Is AI really putting jobs at risk?

For a while now, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has been accompanied by the fear of a so-called ‘Robopocalypse’ – the new order in which machines take over and automation sees countless jobs axed as a result. While there’s no doubt that technology and AI has had, and will continue to have, a profound effect on the Financial Services industry, innovation relies on people. Here at Recordsure, this got us thinking about how AI is affecting the job market within financial services in practice.

The shifting job market

Of course, there are specific financial services jobs that are more at risk as a result of automation across the industry, such as bookkeepers. However, let’s not forget that financial services is one of the most dynamic industries around at the moment and some have estimated that the number of new jobs created is roughly equal to those destroyed. The job categories where recruitment has grown include software development, project management, marketing and compliance.

Harmonising AI with human intelligence

Within the RegTech sphere, there seems to be the assumption that artificial intelligence and human intelligence are mutually exclusive. We certainly don’t see it that way. Firms don’t, and should never, be 100% reliant on technology, for their compliance or any other crucial aspect of their operation. The reality of life in financial services inevitably throws up scenarios that can’t be neatly boxed into categories, or customers that don’t fit the ‘standard customer’ model, meaning that the emotional intelligence and sound judgement of your staff will never be obsolete.

Creating efficiencies and improving standards

While the use of AI has certainly reduced some of the tasks undertaken by humans – speech analytics technologies, for example, can reduce the burden of time-consuming monitoring activities – many RegTech solutions are specifically designed to enhance human capabilities by significantly increasing spans of controls, and offering a holistic view of your customer interactions. Solutions can flag what bad looks like and what good looks like, but it’s down to an organisation to decide how this insight is utilised to reduce risk and maximise customer experience outcomes.

Furthermore, human experience and insight is essential if firms want to utilise RegTech solutions most effectively. Of course, off-the-shelf solutions will offer benefits that can dramatically reduce operating costs, but as with all technological systems, they are only as good as the human oversight and controls put on them. If firms want to see the true potential of AI realised, they need to look beyond cost reduction and continually customise solutions for their businesses, adapting to future changes as necessary. Using human expertise to steer technology in the right direction will always be the key to success.

There’s certainly more dynamism and change to come for the industry. After all, the RegTech revolution is only just beginning. As technology and innovations continue to develop, we’ll see the human workforce bolstered by AI, leading to better customer outcomes. More widely, the job categories within financial services will shift towards more specialist, technology-enabled jobs, with AI opening up a wealth of opportunity in specific fields.

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