Emerging Technology

Artificial Intelligence Investing

The Investing News Network attended a panel discussion called Looking Ahead at AI Regulation at the AI Toronto conference held on Tuesday.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will challenge existing frameworks, according to a panel on AI regulation at the AI Toronto conference, held on Tuesday (June 12).

The second edition of AI Toronto is part of the Big Data Toronto 2018 conference and focused on numerous verticals, including AI regulation, machine learning, data visualization and real-time analytics.

The Investing News Network attended a panel discussion on AI regulation featuring Suzanne Morin, enterprise chief privacy officer at Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF). Also part of the panel were Carole Piovesan, AI lawyer at Mccarthy Tetrault, and Lee Brotherston, director of security at Wealthsimple.

Piovesan said she is actively looking at AI and understands the unique role it plays.

“We are starting to come to terms with the fact that AI plays a unique role and is a unique technology that will start to challenge some of our existing frameworks,” she said.

Piovesan said that she looks at policy regulatory frameworks as part of her job and advises the government on the direction AI should take, especially with respect to issues and consultations that must be undertaken.

“On the enterprise front, it’s really about understanding what data you have, how to mobilize that data in a way that can generate value and identify the right problem that you believe AI can ultimately solve,” she said. “And then working through these larger public policy issues like ethical frameworks.”

Morin said that Canadians want to know what matters to them and noted that they don’t like to see privacy policy on their faces.

“We need to move over to transparency 2.0,” Morin said. “We need to move beyond privacy policy.” Morin further expanded in a tweet after the conference that AI is not the wild west and that existing laws apply.

“C[anadian] principles privacy laws ideal for new tech + business models. Transparency 2.0 ensures i) right words at right time ii) reflects medium + audience iii) recognizes roles of business, gov’t + clients = demystifying what matters most,” she said.

Meanwhile, Piovesan said that it is critical to give people the information that they need to know and to make a decision. “There’s a lot of talk these days about privacy, it’s a good Canadian concept that’s been around for a decade, but I think it’s spilling about other areas,” she said.

The panel made comparisons on AI regulations on the global front between the US and EU.

Piovesan highlighted that the US takes innovation first and then lets regulation flow, while the EU takes a heavily regulated approach. “As Canadians, we are somewhere in the middle, we are very innovation focused, but we also are protective of our values,” she said.

Brotherston said that there are couple of threats when one faces increased regulations. For example, one can end with a less perfect solution if they have to meet an overly specific compliance requirement.

“You can burn a lot of your time in areas that are not relevant to you,” he said on the topic of one common regulation for multiple industries.

The Big Data Toronto 2018 conference took place from June 12 to 13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. According to the event page, more than 4,000 innovators attended the event.

Investor takeaway

With AI tipped to challenge existing frameworks and from our earlier coverage of health organizations embracing AI, now may be the right time for investors to jump into this sector as more and more organizations embrace AI.

Case in point — the overall industry is projected to reach US$59.74 billion by 2025, up from US$1.37 billion in 2016. For investment opportunities, investors interested in the overall sector can consider artificial intelligence ETFs, while those interested in specific companies can instead look to artificial intelligence stocks.

With files from Georgia Williams.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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