Artificial Intelligence and the Financial Markets: Business as Usual?



AI and financial markets go well together. The promise of speedy calculations, massive data processing and accurate predictions are too tempting to pass up for an industry in which almost all actors proceed exclusively instructed by a profit maximising logic. Hence, the strong mathematical prerequisites of financial decision-making give rise to the question: Why do financial markets require a human element anyway? The question is largely of a rhetorical nature due to the lack of complexity of most current AI tools. However, AI tools have been used in finance since the early 1990s and the push to overcome faulty computing and other shortcomings has been palpable ever since. Digitalization has amplified efforts and possibilities. Institutions with business models based on AI are entering the market by the hundreds; banks and insurers are either spinning off their AI expertise to foster its growth or paying billions to acquire expertise. There is no way around AI—at least in certain parts of the financial markets. This article outlines the developments concerning the application of AI in the financial markets and discusses the difficulties pertaining to its sudden rise. It illustrates the diverse fields of application (Sect. 1) and delineates approaches, which major financial regulators are taking towards AI (Sect. 2). In a next step governance through and of AI is discussed (Sect. 3). The article concludes with the main problems that a reluctant approach towards AI results in (Sect. 4).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Staatswissenschaft and Philosophy of LawAlbert-Ludwigs-University FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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