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U.S. financial regulators’ annual report warns of AI risks

U.S. financial regulators’ annual report warns of AI risks


A panel of regulators warned on Dec 14 that the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) could create new risks for the United States’ financial system if the technology is not adequately supervised.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council, comprised of top financial regulators and chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, flagged the risks posed by AI for the first time in its annual financial stability report.

Though the team acknowledged AI’s potential to drive innovation and efficiency in financial institutions, they stressed the need for companies and regulators to remain vigilant due to the swift technological advancements.

In its annual report, the group emphasized that AI carries specific risks, such as cybersecurity and model risks. It suggested that companies and regulators enhance their knowledge and capabilities to monitor AI innovation and usage and identify emerging risks.

According to the report, specific AI tools are highly technical and complex, posing challenges for institutions to explain or monitor them effectively. The report warns that companies and regulators may overlook biased or inaccurate results without a comprehensive understanding.

The report also highlighted that AI tools increasingly depend on extensive external data sets and third-party vendors, bringing forth privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

Certain regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (part of the panel), examined firms’ AI usage. Simultaneously, the White House has issued an executive order to address and reduce AI risks.

Related: Is OpenAI about to drop a new ChatGPT upgrade? Sam Altman says ‘nah’

Pope Francis, in a letter on Dec. 8, expressed concerns about the potential threats of AI to humanity. He advocates for an international treaty to ethically regulate AI development, cautioning against the risk of a “technological dictatorship” without proper controls.

Tech figures like Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak have voiced concerns about the swift progress of AI. Over 2,600 tech leaders and researchers, including Musk and Wozniak, signed a petition in March 2023, urging a “pause” in AI development. They emphasized the potential “profound risks to society and humanity” posed by AI advancements surpassing GPT-4.

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