Navigating the opportunities, potential and risks of AI

If artificial intelligence (AI) hasn’t already touched the business you work in that’s only because it’s about to. Asset owners from around the world will gather at Stanford University next month to hear first-hand from two technology visionaries on the practical applications and ethical considerations of AI as a tool to improve decision making and efficiency.

The sprawling potential of AI presents institutional asset owners with unprecedented opportunities both as investors and as businesses, but also presents significant challenges as the technology expands its reach into more and more aspects of how we live.

The market for AI is expected to grow from a nearly $100 billion industry today to almost $2 trillion – a twentyfold increase and compound annual growth rate of almost 33 per cent per cent –  by 2030, fundamentally changing a vast number of industries and daily life for billions worldwide, according to Next Move Strategy Consulting.

Institutional investors will be challenged to grapple with this rapidly evolving seismic technology shift through a myriad of different lenses: as an investment opportunity, driving growth or decline; as a global cultural phenomenon, driving innovation or chaos; and as business opportunity, fuelling the capacity to make investment decisions based on greater analytical prowess and the potential to make sense of large swaths of data more efficiently than ever before.

To help put the scale of the AI revolution into perspective, has secured the attendance of two world-renowned AI experts at next month’s exclusive, invitation-only Fiduciary Investors Symposium, held on campus at Stanford University from September 19 to 21. They will cover the gamut of biggest issues institutional investors need to consider going forward.

Dr. Ashby Monk, head of Stanford’s Institute for Long Term Investing and author of the book Technologized Investor: Innovation through reorientation, will share insights into how AI will shape 21st century long term investing and drive portfolio construction techniques based on greater amounts of data, optimized for better decision making and performance.

In his book, Monk argues that institutional Investors can gain capabilities for deep innovation by shifting their strategies and organizations to focus on advanced technology. Although technology has historically failed institutional investors, Monk recommends practical changes that they can make to unlock “technological superpowers”.

AI has the potential to impact investment management at the front, middle and back office and many asset owners have already embraced machine learning and natural language processing. APG, who is head of digitalisation and innovation, Peter Strikwerda will also speak at the event, has taken that a step further, recently hiring its first digital portfolio manager. “Samuel” comes complete with an employee identity number and underlines the firm’s ambitions around data-driven money management. Part of “Samuel’s” job is to point to anomalies, questioning where logic isn’t consistent in analytic assumptions.

AI has a large role to play in what Monk describes as a data-driven revolution in investing. For asset owners, this means operational excellence will matter more in the future with people, process, information, governance, culture and technology all driving operational alpha.

Fei Fei Li, Google’s former chief AI data scientist and creator of ImageNet, the basis for machine-learned visualization, will speak to the vast possibilities AI represents, as well as the potential risks and ethical questions critical to address during AI’s infancy.

Li co-launched a non-profit organization, AI4All, to increase inclusion and diversity among computer engineers. She also co-directs Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, which aims to develop human-centered AI technologies and applications.

The practical applications and ethical considerations of AI in the world of pension fund management and investing are fundamental questions that all asset owners need to understand and manage. Don’t miss this outstanding opportunity to hear first-hand from two of the leading academics in the field.

For asset owners wanting to find out more or to register for the Fiduciary Investors Symposium, held on campus at Stanford University, September 19-21 click here.

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