The ethical application of AI is vital to the Square Mile’s continued success as a global financial powerhouse, according to the Lord Mayor of the City of London Corporation.

The 695th Lord Mayor of London, Professor Michael Mainelli, said experts building AI in all sectors should grow public trust in the new technologies by working to shared ethical and professional standards.

As part of his Ethical AI Initiative, The Lord Mayor and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, where he is a Fellow, have created a new Ethical Build of AI certificate for computing professionals. The certificate educates professionals in existing standards and gives them frameworks for applying them as they build AI systems. The course uses case studies from over two decades of AI applications to explore real-world risks and applies across all sectors.

Organisations like Discover Financial Services are set to take part in the pilot which was launched this week.

Lord Mayor Professor Michael Mainelli said:

“The AI genie is out of the bottle and we need to control it appropriately.  AI has tremendous potential to make our financial system work in ways that are fairer, more accessible, and more transparent than ever before. Yet there are genuine risks such as inappropriate use of intellectual property, security failures, misuse of personal data, ingrained bias, and dehumanisation. 

“A focus on Ethical AI is key to my ‘Connect to Prosper’ theme – which aims to demonstrate the City’s strengths in solving global challenges.”

“As the world’s premier financial centre we know our financial services sector is at the vanguard of investing in and adopting AI technologies, therefore we also need to know that those designing AI into financial services can be held to account through a shared set of ethical and professional standards.”

The Lord Mayor serves as global ambassador for the UK financial and professional services industry for a one-year term.

BCS’ new Foundation Certificate in the Ethical Build of AI helps technology professionals to understand and resolve ethical dilemmas when designing it into products and services.

It follows AI standards such as those set by the ISO and ethical frameworks like Principlism, which is used in biomedical ethics.

Lucy Ireland, MD of Learning and Development at BCS said:

“The increasing use of AI in the finance industry brings with it massive opportunities but also raises ethical concerns about the unique challenges that come with it. From algorithmic bias and data privacy to long-term impact on people’s financial status, these concerns highlight the need for a responsible and accountable approach to AI.”

“It’s critical that developers and designers consider ethics as they plan and build their applications to ensure this powerful technology is safe and helpful and we can protect individuals and businesses.”

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