AI Disrupts Everything - Issue #454 February 8th, 2024

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In this edition of FinTech Weekly, we're steering into the dynamic intersection where artificial intelligence (AI) redefines the contours of finance and technology. The discourse has shifted from speculative to concrete, with AI's influence penetrating defense, banking, and more. Nations are recalibrating their military strategies with AI, while the financial sector leverages this technology for enhanced analytics and operational efficiency.

The real intrigue, however, lies in the balance between breakthroughs and ethical considerations, between innovation's pace and its societal ripples. We're witnessing a transformation where previously unaffected sectors are now at the forefront of adopting AI. This evolution is not just about technological upgrades; it's a cultural shift, prompting a reassessment of our interaction with the digital architects of tomorrow.

This week's FinTech Weekly goes beyond mere updates; it probes the broader implications of AI's dominance in finance and other realms, challenging professionals to adapt to an era where AI's role is both transformative and omnipresent.

This and much more in this number of FinTech Weekly: discover top fintech news and events and stay ahead of the competition!

Top Stories

    China and Russia have committed to deepening their cooperation on the military use of artificial intelligence (AI), signifying a strategic move in the technological rivalry with the United States. Officials from both countries discussed AI's potential for military applications and agreed on the importance of collaborating within the UN's Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems. The talks, held in Beijing, emphasized the aligned views of Russia and China on AI in warfare and highlighted the necessity for ongoing cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral settings.

Top Events

Podcasts and Videos

    Japan is allocating funds to foster the domestic development of generative artificial intelligence (AI), aiming to compete with leading technologies like ChatGPT in the US. Industry Minister Saito Ken announced the government's plan to accelerate AI development to ensure Japan remains at the forefront of innovation. To support this initiative, the industry ministry will distribute 8.4 billion yen (over $56 million) to seven entities, including startups and a university. These recipients will also get six months of free access to Google's cloud services, financed by the ministry, to utilize vast data sets essential for training generative AI models. The focus will be on creating large language models tailored for the Japanese language, targeting applications across various sectors, notably in autonomous driving.



    Super Bowl LVIII will feature a return to more traditional commercials, eschewing advertisements for cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence. The game, pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers, is set for February 11 and is anticipated to attract millions of viewers. This year, the focus of advertisements will shift towards humor and amusement, moving away from the tech-centric themes prevalent in recent years, excluding 2023. Major companies like BMW, Budweiser, State Farm, Oreo, DoorDash, and Hellman’s Mayonnaise have secured advertising slots, aiming to engage a broader audience with classic Super Bowl ad motifs, after a period where tech ads, particularly from the cryptocurrency and AI sectors, frequently featured.


    A study by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on central banks' use of artificial intelligence (AI) has highlighted potential risks with the technology's adoption. The report, “Artificial intelligence in central banking,” examines the roles and hazards of using large language models (LLMs) by central banks, noting their early adoption for data analysis. Central banks primarily utilize AI for gathering and processing complex data, employing machine learning for operations including data sampling, cleaning, and integration. Additionally, AI aids in financial analysis for monetary policy decisions, with techniques like neural networks and random forest models providing real-time insights into inflation expectations and the impact of policy measures, partly by analyzing social media content.

    A new era of artificial intelligence, highlighted by technologies like OpenAI's ChatGPT, is expected to significantly affect high-paying white-collar jobs, shifting the focus from the traditional automation concerns of blue-collar sectors. Research by the Burning Glass Institute and SHRM suggests that industries such as banking and tech will see a considerable impact, with roles like business analysts, software developers, and lawyers particularly at risk. This shift underscores the need for workers, especially those in technology and with college degrees, to adapt to a future where AI plays a crucial role in their professions. Financial and tech companies, including major names like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Google, are among those predicted to experience notable disruptions due to generative AI advancements.



    Banco do Brasil has led an investment in Traive through the BB Impacto ASG I Fund to support technological innovation, operational expansion in Brazil, and the launch of a novel credit trading platform. Utilizing AI, Traive's system analyzes over 2,500 data points for agricultural sector risk profiling, a method acknowledged by the ACM. The investment will aid Traive's technological upgrades, growth, and market diversification efforts. Founded in 2017 and based in the US, Traive plans to extend its international reach. Banco do Brasil's Rodrigo Vasconcelos highlights the investment's role in accelerating the bank's digital transformation and enhancing its agricultural sector services, aiming to improve credit solutions and promote sustainable practices.

    The British performers' union, Equity, is prepared to take industrial action similar to the 2023 Hollywood strikes unless agreements concerning AI and intellectual property rights are met. Liam Budd, an official from Equity, highlighted the union's readiness for action as it seeks to update film and TV contracts to include terms on AI usage. Equity has been vocal about its concerns regarding AI's impact on the arts since launching its "Stop AI Stealing the Show" campaign in June 2022. Budd has also criticized the UK government's passive stance on AI regulation, arguing that the delay in legislation is detrimental to the creative industry amidst the rapid advancement of generative AI technologies.