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Intelligent thinking

As the application of artificial intelligence takes hold across the financial sector, Richard Kemp investigates what legal issues this raises.

To make AI an accessible concept, ponder this observation: it’s only AI until you know what it does, then it’s just software.

Fuelled by exploding volumes of big data – digital data is growing at a compound rate of 60% per year – AI can be seen as the convergence of machine processing, learning, perception and control. Exponential growth in machine processing power has enabled the techniques of machine learning, by which computers learn by example and teach themselves to carry out pattern recognition tasks without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Combining machine learning with billions of internet–connected sensors enables machine perception – advances in implantable and wearable devices, personal digital assistants, connected homes and smart cities. Add actuation – the ability to navigate the environment – to static machine learning and perception and you get machine control – autonomous vehicles, domestic robots and drones.

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