Artificial Intelligence to Help Wall Street With Compliance

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 20, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In a high profile demonstration of artificial intelligence, IBM's Watson outsmarted human contestants on "Jeopardy."

Six years and a $1 million prize later, the company is unleashing Watson on another class of players: rogue traders at large financial institutions. Watson Financial Services is looking for patterns in traders' chats and emails while also analyzing numerical trading data.

"I think about it like a detective that can do problem solving, rather than just a search," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Industry Platforms.

Risk and Compliance

Watson's services are part of the IBM's latest efforts to help businesses comply with regulations. The evolving technology will analyze regulations for compliance and assist banks in detecting suspicious transactions, van Kralingen said.

She said that is what risk and compliance officers really need. As a pilot program, Watson is going to work first for a handful of financial-industry clients.

Other companies, including Thomson Reuters, also offer regulatory intelligence services. TR's programs cut through regulations -- more than 550 regulatory bodies and 950 rule books -- to help with "unprecedented volumes" of information for compliance.

"The banking, financial services and insurance sectors continue to experience unprecedented volumes of regulatory change and complexity," the company says.

AI Solutions

The Watson platform will focus on financial regulations in three main areas:

  • Watson Regulatory Compliance will help firms identify applicable regulations.
  • IBM Financial Crimes Insight uses analytics to help companies act on criminal threats.
  • IBM Algo One Big Data Foundation combines big data and risk management technology.

"Essentially, we're embedding our deep regulatory experience into Watson so that a broader group of professionals can benefit from this knowledge and help their organizations operate more effectively and efficiently," said Gene Ludwig, founder and chief executive at Promontory Financial Group, a subsidiary of IBM.

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