AI Surveillance: Deutsche Bank Experimenting with AI to Monitor Traders' Conduct

NNicholas September 13, 2023 11:12 AM

Deutsche Bank AG is exploring Google Cloud's artificial intelligence tools to detect suspicious behavior in traders' phone conversations. This initiative is part of a larger AI implementation strategy within the bank, with a goal of improving monitoring systems and governance.

Toward a more effective surveillance tool

In an effort to improve governance and monitoring capabilities, Deutsche Bank is testing artificial intelligence (AI) tools designed to pick up on potential signs of misconduct in traders' phone conversations. Rather than just analyzing word choice, these AI tools being trialed are sophisticated enough to detect tone variations and hints of cynicism. This could help distinguish between innocent conversations and those with potentially nefarious undertones.

To adapt to the specific language and conversational norms used by traders, the AI system is being trained using recordings of existing calls. This practical approach allows the AI to recognize and understand unique communication patterns and behaviors, which will be essential in detecting potential misconduct.

Balancing technology and ethics

The implementation of such a surveillance system is not without its challenges. Deutsche Bank's innovation team is hard at work to ensure that the AI system complies with all regulatory requirements, respects privacy, and minimizes false positives. It's a careful balance between leveraging AI capabilities for improved oversight and ensuring ethical and legal compliance.

Legal concerns over AI surveillance

Despite the potential benefits of AI surveillance, some legal professionals caution about the potential risks. These include the possibility of AI systems overlooking key evidence while focusing on other metrics, or the risk of traders disputing evidence on the grounds of software flaws. It's clear that while AI has significant potential in this space, it's crucial to keep its limitations in mind.

Deutsche Bank's use of AI in surveillance is not unique within the financial industry. Other lenders are also leveraging Google Cloud technology to transform unstructured data, like traders’ text messages and call transcripts, into a more searchable and analyzable format. This demonstrates the growing role AI plays in the industry.

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