Mississippi Business Journal: School of Business Administration Dean Featured in AI Banking Article

Types of jobs in banking expected to change with increasing adoption of artificial intelligence

By Becky Gillette/Mississippi Business Journal

A hot topic in banking circles is how much artificial intelligence (AI) will impact employment in the banking industry. One study reported in American Banker magazine predicts that 70 percent of front-office jobs will be replaced by chatbots, voice assistants and automated authentication and biometric technology. And steep job losses are also predicted for financial management, compliance officers and loan officers as those functions are replaced by AI applications for anti-fraud, compliance, monitoring and anti-money laundering.

Adoption of AI and machine learning (ML) could also be very profitable for banks. Some researchers have estimated it could increase the revenue of banks 34 percent by 2022. But will that come at the cost of job losses for many employees of banks?

Automation is both a threat and an opportunity for the industry, said Dean Ken B. Cyree, Ph.D., University of Mississippi School of Business Administration.

“Since Mississippi has relatively small banks and most are community banks, there is concern about competing with large, out-of-state banks that are in some cases more automated, or could have the resources to become more automated,” Cyree said. “I believe the customer relationship and service parts of the industry will be valuable to customers in the future, regardless of the automation and artificial intelligence opportunities that emerge. While lending commodity-type products, such as insured mortgages, are tailor-made for efficiencies due to automation, other more non-standard loans are still very likely to be made by experienced bankers.”

Cyree said small business loans, at which community bankers excel, are a good example since it is difficult to model all the factors a banker must consider. He said lending is part science and part art, and the ability to add value to the customer through the art of lending will likely never go out of style.

“Some customer service functions could be even more automated in the future, and, in many cases, this will create faster and accurate service,” Cyree said. “But, in contrast, some customers will desire human interaction when making financial decisions and transactions. I continue to be optimistic about the future of banking, and I believe automation will add to the efficiency of the industry, and hopefully allow bankers to focus on what customers need to be successful.”

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