If you have been living under a rock for the duration of 2023 you may not know about the current craze surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), more specifically, generative AI. 

If you haven’t been living under a rock throughout the year, you may have seen AI being used to generate voices of famous music artists that sound eerily similar to the original artist, or create automated long-form answers at a simple request. 

Generative AIs such as this have taken on a new life in the form of apps such as ChatGPT, but how has this impacted the payments and fintech sectors? And why are we now only scratching the surface with AIs limitless potential. 

“The payments industry has been using ‘artificial intelligence’ and machine learning for years – every time you make a payment, anti-fraud checks are carried out by what are effectively AIs, and it’s been this way for years,” said Scott Dawson, Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at DECTA

“The current craze for AI comes from generative AIs – systems like ChatGPT and Midijourney, that allow users to prompt a system to create realistic-seeming writing or images – and there are currently limited applications for this particular technology for many businesses.”

Despite generative AI still in its infancy, larger and more seasoned AI models have been around for over the last decade within the payments ecosystem. 

Dawson highlights the technologies automation capabilities to ramp up faster and more efficient data and transaction processing, as well as its ability to allow businesses to converse money. 

He explained: “Few organisations are losing money because they can’t create enough written content – their pain points come from high costs, high inflation rates and low consumption, which AI is not able to address. 

“There is huge potential in automation, as we have seen in the payments industry, but as with many advancements they are unlikely to be flashy, and the real progress will happen through automating time-intensive processes rather than deploying sci-fi style artificial general intelligence. 

“As with so many things, we need to get serious about increasing productivity through building upon the AI systems that have been producing value for years rather than chasing a moonshot.”

Dawson continued: “The industry has had an interesting year, with many organisations feeling the impact of economic and political events globally, from high costs and even higher inflation rates to low consumption. 

“AI is the one standout topic in 2023 that got everyone talking and while the basis of the technology has been around for many years, it was in 2023 that it really took off and became a household term, and that is in large part thanks to ChatGPT, which celebrates its first anniversary at the end of the year.”

Many people, for better or for worse, have been caught in the craze of AI and hypothesised its potentially incredible yet dangerous potential. 

The technologies surge in 2023 led to the inaugural AI safety summit in London last November, where many of the world’s leading political figures, as well as leaders in the tech space such as Elon Musk, deliberated the best solutions to safeguard users from risky AI whilst also exploring its capabilities further. 

The Bletchley Declaration was then ushered into existence through this shared agreement by world leaders from the likes of the UK, US, China, Japan, France and several more, cooperating with one another to ensure that the technology is growing yet handled. 

But does this mean that AI regulation will come to fruition next year, and will this stunt AIs rapid trajectory? Dawson believes 2024 will encompass this and more. 

He said: “That being said, AI hasn’t changed the world as much as we thought it would – both the threats and benefits of AI are being somewhat oversold as it is not able to address the key difficulties that many organisations experienced this year. 

“Looking forward to 2024 we’ll be looking at the regulation of AI. It is not so much the technology that is regulated but the structure of it, which is indicative of the fact that regulation will never be able to keep up with technology that evolves this quickly, or foresee what it might be capable of.”