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Treat AI as a risk management growth opportunity: RIMS report

Posted On: Feb. 21, 2019 11:39 AM CST

artificial intelligence

Rapidly evolving artificial intelligence technologies are bringing significant changes to the risk, compliance and insurance industries, but this is not career-ending for risk professionals, according to a report from the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. on Thursday.

While change is inevitable amid growing automation, there is an opportunity for risk professionals to think about how AI will intersect with customers, employees and regulators, and to participate in the evolution, the report said.

While many risk professionals are tempted to emphasize controls, or lack thereof, as their risk management focus, this approach will not fully capture the complexity of new AI technology, according to the report.

“In the context of enterprise risk, the key to integrating AI is understanding your organizational strategies in terms of both the opportunity and peril that AI innovation can bring,” the report said.

Risk professionals can offer a unique perspective on AI implementation by examining the organization’s strategies and aspirations through a “risk lens,” the report said.

By understanding how a company can strengthen its operations by applying artificial intelligence to focus on narrow tasks, such as image recognition or detecting credit card fraud, risk professionals have something to offer, said the report.

To benefit their careers in view of the changes AI will bring, risk professionals need to “understand the role that the volume and quality of data will play” in their implementation, according to the report.

Being clear about responsibilities and obligations of data stewardship is key. “Review the key controls around data including the need for transparency of decision making,” said the report.

Having response principles in place and ready for those times when something goes wrong will also be important, it said.

Risk professionals should also find ways to participate in strategic discussions around AI and educate themselves to the world of possibilities offered by AI innovations, according to the report’s author, Tom Easthope, RIMS Strategic and Enterprise Council member and director, enterprise risk management at Seattle-based Microsoft Corp.