“AI” and “Machine learning are 2017’s buzzwords, with an abundance of clickbait articles predicting the imminent demise of thousands of jobs. However despite many ominous predictions, AI and machine learning are set to change job roles, not remove them. While new technology tends to make some jobs obsolete, traditionally new technology creates jobs instead of reducing them – one estimate suggests that 65% of children currently in primary school will have jobs that currently don’t exist.
The difference between AI and Machine Learning
The terms AI & machine learning are often used interchangeably, so it’s important to understand the difference. AI is the attempt to build machines capable of intelligent behaviour while machine learning “gives computers the ability to learn without being programmed”.
One of the best examples of a machine learning algorithm is one everyone has used – the google search bar. Google records your previous searches in order to make informed suggestions as you type your search. This way if you make a typo, Google can often reliably search for the site you actually intended to look for. No-one specifically programmed the search tool to make this specific correction – this is a learned behaviour
So what does this mean for Finance?
AI and machine learning are starting to get implemented in everyday finance roles, which is no surprise as the Big 4 have been investing into AI innovations for a while. Currently, Audit is the area that is seeing the biggest benefits, as AI is streamlining data acquisition and comparison, minimising time consuming tasks such as seeking out relevant information. It’s pulling the data out of documents and converting it into usable formats. This leaves auditors with more time to review and analyse which will increase the overall quality of audits.
Shamus Rae, at KPMG announced they were using AI to help with their audits. “Now, we can start to inspect and use our data in more depth. If you look at our ability to audit, with regards to looking at a bank, for example, then we can look at them much faster. We think adopting artificial intelligence will be challenging but wholly positive.”
Using machine learning accounting software will continue to improve, just like the google suggested search function. The software will continue getting smarter, until it can autonomously perform analysis which previously required the human touch. Tasks such as bank reconciliation will become completely automated.
The bottom line is that while AI and machine learning are changing job functions, they’re a long way from destroying any jobs. On the contrary, while the amount of finance roles stays the same data driven roles within the finance industry are greatly increasing.
Interested in a finance or data role? Talentedge specialises in placing finance and data people into the media, marketing services, tech and lifestyle brands sectors in London. Get in touch with us here.