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Applied A.I. leads tech adoption: McKinsey

Artificial intelligence is the most pursued of next-gen technologies, including in financial services.



McKinsey & Co. says in a new report that applied artificial intelligence is the biggest tech priority worldwide, including financial services.

Companies invested $165 billion into the field in 2021, making applied A.I. close to mainstream.

Machine learning, computer vision, and natural-language processing are being deployed to automate activities and make better decisions. McKinsey estimates more than half of companies are now adopting A.I., according to a survey of global corporations.

More: the survey finds 27 percent of respondents attributed 5 percent or more of their companies’ earnings before interest and tax to A.I.

Within financial services, leading uses of A.I. include supporting risk management, such as detecting credit-card fraud.

But A.I. is being applied across every major business vertical, from healthcare to energy, transport to education.

“The biggest shift affecting A.I.’s broad adoption is tied to more mature tooling and the emergence of a canonical tech stack that is drastically simplifying how A.I. solutions are engineered and integrated with other digital applications,” said Jacomo Corbo, partner at McKinsey and a co-author of the report.

Beyond A.I.

Nonetheless, companies are restrained in their use of A.I. by lack of resources, including talent; cybersecurity concerns; and question marks regarding how much they can trust A.I. results – a governance issue.

The next two most important technologies that companies are researching and deploying are cloud and edge computing ($136 billion invested in 2021) and advanced connectivity – especially 5G and 6G, WiFI, at $166 billion. Advanced connectivity was a low priority in financial services, however.

Within financial services, the largest investments (beyond A.I. and cloud) are going to next-generation software development (for onboarding, know your customer, and customer due diligence), digital identity 9for compliance but also for decentralized finance, or DeFi), Web3 (also DeFi as well as tokenizing payments and asset management), and mobility (for insurance).

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