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Macquarie Heralds “AI First” Banking Approach

Macquarie Heralds “AI First” Banking Approach

(22 June 2023 – Australia) Macquarie is tapping Google to apply an artificial intelligence (AI) first approach across the group with powerful app features and generative AI.

The initial use case for generative AI will support call centre staff address complex customer questions by searching through the bank’s policies, an approach already deployed to much fanfare by Commonwealth Bank.

“As we think of the newer innovations available, we think we can really step up our investment and focus in the AI space. As much as we thought before of being ‘digital first’, we now want to think of ourselves as ‘AI first’ in how we power things” stated Macquarie’s Head of Banking and Financial Services Group to the AFR, Greg Ward.

The broader application of AI by major banks aligns with regulators and the federal government racing to implement a regulatory model that will allow corporates to realise the benefits of “large language models” to enhance productivity, while avoiding pitfalls if it is manipulated or utilised for nefarious purposes.

Developments in the technology, particularly generative AI, represent a step change, and potentially create new and different risks and issues according to the corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

“ASIC has AI as a high and important priority. Not just in regards to wholesale markets, but also its role in, and for, the whole economy, including consumers and small business. Just because the technology has changed, nobody should think that means your existing obligations around good governance have changed with it” commented ASIC Chairman Joe Longo

“The fear of being ‘left behind’ will drive some uses of tech that have unintended consequences. There is a danger entities may rush too quickly into innovations without applying appropriate controls and proper governance,” he said, while flagging that ASIC will consult on expanding automated order processing rules to reflect developments in AI.

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