Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Martin Walker

I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

– HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey

AI and robotics are topics that have launched thousands of science fiction themed, movies, novels and computer games. The idea of C-3PO (or perhaps a Terminator) sitting at the trading desk generates huge excitement and fear. Sadly, much of the excitement comes from a misunderstanding of what AI is and what it can do. The concept of AI includes many very real and long-established tools that create tangible value, and it also overflows into the relatively new concept of “robotics”. The most interesting thing about the use of robotics in capital markets IT (which typically refers to robotic process automation, RPA, rather than mechanical beings) is the name. Robotics also consists of a set of very real technologies that can add value, but has mostly had an impact due to clever marketing, notably the use/misuse of the word “robotics”.

In this chapter, we break down two related concepts that sound like they are at the

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