Posted Friday 17th November 2017 by Lloyd Adams, Head of Strategy

Artificial Intelligence – who needs lawyers, wealth managers and board directors anymore?

It can’t be emphasised enough that Artificial Intelligence is not all about Siri, Alexa, driverless cars and robots. It’s about really smart software, which uses algorithms to replicate high-value complex tasks, to make evidenced-based decisions extremely quickly.

Artificial Intelligence – who needs lawyers, wealth managers and board directors anymore?

When looking at AI, the implications for Jersey become much clearer when you start linking the technology with the jurisdiction’s international competitiveness and jobs in our professional services industry. Jersey has an abundance of high-value employees, all providing complex services – so every time you hear about the AI buzzword, think about how it might impact a job near you. 

I recently saw a product demonstration in Jersey from a firm called Luminance. Working with Cambridge University they’ve developed an AI platform for the legal industry. The technology understands contract clauses in the same way as lawyers, but in volumes and speeds that humans could never achieve. It picks out risky clauses, uncovers anomalies and spots missing information. Luminance essentially does the work of a team of para-legals, significantly faster and without the hangovers.

Idio Platform is another good example. It’s a tool for Wealth Managers which builds up a picture of client’s interests through a real-time analysis of their digital footprint. Can you imagine if your team went into every meeting armed with the foreknowledge of that customer’s priorities and their intent, and how that could be used to tailor their portfolio management?

Board Directors come next. Board level awareness of technology, data protection and cyber security is essential, but there are also AI systems available today, which can analyse Board packs, pull out the most useful information and make well informed recommendations. Whilst it was a bit of a PR stunt, in 2014 a venture capital firm appointed a computer algorithm called Vital to its Board of Directors; the algorithm looks at a range of data when making decisions on medical investments - including financial information, clinical trials for particular drugs, intellectual property owned by the firm and previous funding.

Getting to grips with AI also has implications for you as leaders in Jersey and it’s important to ask questions about your digital preparedness. As with the industrial revolution in the past, certain repetitive job roles are likely to be consumed by AI, but that doesn’t mean job losses, it means job changes. How are you holding your employees’ hands through this change? How are you encouraging the most digitally-savvy staff to energise the wider company in your digital strategy? How are you helping upskill and prepare staff who might be most affected by this change? As leaders, you can’t afford to manage decline and you can’t shield people from technology developments.

When thinking about the future of work, we can no longer avoid the subject of Artificial Intelligence as one of the major factors influencing productivity in the workplace. AI will create the shift from mundane transactional tasks to higher-order and creative work. With this shift, new possibilities and opportunities for success are made available for business.

It is essential that we don’t allow complacency in Jersey and not getting to grips with the unknown to hold us back. Your competitors in similar jurisdictions – Singapore, Luxembourg – are all working on AI tools, so you can’t afford to not adapt. Embrace the potential and secure your future success.