Artiﬁcial intelligence: accelerator
or panacea for ﬁnancial crime?
School of Law, Social Sciences, and Communications,
University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
Purpose –This purpose of this viewpoint is to addressthe intended good and unintended bad impacts of
artiﬁcialintelligence (AI) applications in ﬁnancialcrime.
Design/methodology/approach –The paper relied primarily on secondary data resources, business
cases and relevantlaws and regulations, and it used a legal-economics perspective.
Findings –Current AI systems could function as antidotes or acceleratorof ﬁnancial crime, in particular
cybercrime. Researchsuggests criminal law could be applied via three approachesto curb these cybercrimes.
However, others consideredthis to be an inappropriate mechanism to hold AI agents accountable, as present
AI systems were not deemedcapable of making ethically informed choices. Instead,administrative sanctions
would be consideredmore appropriate for now. While keeping vigilance againstAI malicious acts, regulatory
authorities in the USA and the UK have opted largely for the innovation-friendly, market-oriented,
permissionless approachover the state-interventionist stance so as to maintain their globalcompetitive edge
in this domain.
Originality/value –The paper reinforcedthe growing arguments that AI applications should be deployed
more as panacea for ﬁnancialcrimes rather than being abused as crime accelerators. There equally though is
the need for both public and private sectors to be mindful of the unintendednegative, harmful consequences
to society, especially those connected to cybercrime. This impliedthe further need to beef up attention and
resourcesto help mitigate these risks.
Keywords Cybercrime, SEC, Financial crime, Frauds, Artiﬁcial intelligence, FCA
Paper type Viewpoint
Artiﬁcial intelligence (AI) is perceived in US legislation as any artiﬁcial system that
performs tasks under varying, but predictable circumstances and without signiﬁcant
human oversight. Such systems could also learn from their experiences while improving
their performances and might even solve tasks requiring human-like perception, cognition,
planning, learning, communication or physical actions (Hoadley and Lucas, 2018). AI
systems as they evolved overthe years have been linked to systems that think like humans,
act like humans, think rationallyor act rationally.
Applications of AI systems are generally viewed as positive for economic growth and
productivity (Furman and Seamans, 2018). However, as AI systems evolved, various
myths have been generated, especially on the idea that AI might constitute an existential
threat for humanity. This is deemed to be one of the most widespread myth and is at the
root of numerous misunderstandings and fears surrounding AI systems (Bentley et al.,
2018). There are, however, legitimate apprehensions about the deployment of AI
systems to harm society including the perpetuation of ﬁnancial crimes (Forwood and
Financial crimes,already a huge problem in almost every economy in the world, have not
receded sufﬁciently despite various countermeasures across the world. Financial crimes
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.26 No. 2, 2019
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