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The recent revolution in Big Data due to exponential increases in the amount of data, computing power, and data storage at lower costs, coupled with advances in machine learning ML that can analyze this data, has led to a resurgence in Artificial Intelligence AI [1]. How can the adoption of AI more broadly and ML specifically lead to such significant revenue?

Second, it can help process improvement as humans become smarter when coupled with computers, and ML itself improves efficiencies and reduces errors, freeing up humans to focus on investor needs [3]. Given these potential use cases of AI and ML, what are firms in the space currently doing? According to a Barclays report, the most popular use case of ML is cleaning traditional data sets.

Reasons for this include concerns that the price of Big Data is greater than its usefulness, assessing the data itself is challenging, and while ML is good at finding correlations, it is difficult to determine causation [4].

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While BlackRock has historically been a forerunner in adopting AI, potential competition exists from traditional firms and fintech startups [2]. BlackRock has taken many steps to address the AI revolution in the near term. Second, the firm announced the creation of Data Science Core in its letter to shareholders.

The core is meant to formalize data science efforts already underway and leverage AI in solving high priority issues [6]. Third, BlackRock aims to use AI to automate back-office functions which will improve processes through speed, fewer errors, and lower costs [5].

BlackRock has also taken steps to incorporate ML into its investment process. First, it is collecting new types of data for potential use in decision making. Some of this data may prove to have no value as complex techniques do not necessarily result in better forecasting [1]. BlackRock should learn over time what constitutes good data and how to incorporate it in meaningful ways. ML techniques are being used to parse language in public filings to determine how to weight each company within the sector ETF [7].

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Again, it will take time to assess the validity of this approach. BlackRock also aims to create a data-driven feedback loop in its sales and product development process [6].

This will allow BlackRock to improve efficiency as it responds in real-time to client needs and will lead to the creation of desired products. Lastly, BlackRock also plans to use AI to deliver investment capabilities to the masses in due time, providing investors access to analytics previously only available to larger, institutional clients [8]. In the short term, hiring data scientists to employ ML and AI will likely be an issue as data science is a relatively nascent field and BlackRock is one of many companies vying for this talent.

BlackRock will also need to continually assess the usefulness of new data sources. BlackRock must also stay abreast of any developments in the AI space, which is difficult to do given rapid changes.

In the medium term, BlackRock could acquire companies producing applicable technology or fintech competitors. Any investment process using AI will need to be validated and understood by portfolio managers and explained well to clients. The path to the successful application of AI, in process improvement and particularly in product development, will not be linear.

Portfolio managers must accept potential setbacks and inform investors in their fiduciary duties of highlighting key risks. Would humans tolerate an AI investor who outperforms the market but whose methods are indecipherable or unintuitive?

Big Data, Machine Learning, and AI in Portfolio Management

Does human plus machine truly beat machine? Hi CG, I find this to be a really exciting topic. Great job covering all the different angles for AI to benefit Blackrock investing, process improvement, etc. The use cases you shared such as text analysis on earnings calls transcripts are interesting. I would have been curious to know, in your opinion, which use case is most promising, and why would Blackrock be best positioned to win?The world's largest asset manager is on a mission to automate and innovate through its growing artificial-intelligence team.

Now, according to job postings reviewed by Business Insider, the member team is tackling projects ranging from next-generation lending platforms to automating human tasks. AI Labs' staff is also working with alternative data sets to find useful signals. That's been a conundrum across asset management as experts say the booming space has been difficult to generate incredible returns in, despite new providers seemingly popping up daily.

In a blog post last year, Jody Kochansky, BlackRock's chief engineer, highlighted some of the ways artificial-intelligence techniques were already helping to sort through vast amounts of what he called "messy data. Sign up here for our weekly newsletter Wall Street Insider, a behind-the-scenes look at the stories dominating banking, business, and big deals. AI Labs is also tackling natural language processing — synthesizing information from financial reports, news, and contracts — as well as automation on repeatable tasks, as it tries to free staff members "to work on the tasks that require their human intelligence.

BlackRock is far from the only asset manager thinking about how to use artificial intelligence across its businesses. Established managers like Franklin Templeton are embedding data scientists in their investment teamswhile startups like Pagaya are using artificial intelligence to reshape investment strategies. Managers are eyeing artificial-intelligence techniques as one way to boost fund managers' performance, particularly as investors flee higher-revenue active funds for cheaper passive strategies, and as a way to cut costs by automation.

Not all managers are on board, however. Account icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders. It often indicates a user profile. Login Subscribe. My Account. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. BI Prime. Meghan Morris. This story is available exclusively on Business Insider Prime.

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Join BI Prime and start reading now. BlackRock founded AI Labs last year to research artificial intelligence. Since then, it's expanded to a staff of The team continues to grow — the firm is looking for a senior data scientist, among other roles — and job postings indicate the kinds of projects the Stanford-advised group is tackling.

AI Labs' work includes building a next-generation stock-lending platform, working with alternative data sets, and automating rote tasks. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Kevin is a portfolio manager with BlackRock.

Kevin, thanks for being here today. Kevin Franklin: Great to be here. Those being big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Can you help me understand what are these things? How do you define them? Are they anything new? Franklin: Absolutely. Great question.

blackrock ai lab

I think those three words I think really hit on two big trends that are impacting every aspect of our lives today. I think of big data really as just a recognition that the amount of data in our lives is growing at exponential pace, and you see that in every aspect of your life. But in investing, it's meaning that investors can't just focus on fundamentals or price data.

They need to understand what's happening with ETFs. They need to understand online activity. What are people in social media saying about the security?

They need to understand the digital exhaust that we're all exhibiting in terms of when we go into a store. Big data is really the fact data has just gotten massive and more unstructured in nature. Then you go to machine learning, which I think is a very concrete concept that has been around a long time. It relates to a process that updates itself, a statistical process that just learns when it's given more data.

We've been really using those type of techniques for decades, but the truth is that the techniques are getting better and better, and the computing power that you can deploy is also cheaper and cheaper and very easy to apply with cloud-based compute. Those are the first two terms.BI Intelligence.

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To learn more and subscribe, please click here. Every part of BlackRock's business is already augmented by AI, and the lab will aim to strengthen its efforts to bring the benefits of AI to its clients, according to Rob Goldstein, BlackRock's chief operating officer. While BlackRock has been a forerunner in adopting AI, other legacy players are lagging behind. Other incumbents would be wise to follow suit and further explore the use AI for their businesses, as this can potentially cut costs or open new streams of revenue for a company.

With increasing competition from digital wealth manager startups, it seems likely that more legacy players will start to look into the technology to avoid falling behind. BI IntelligenceBusiness Insider's premium research service, has written a detailed report on AI in banking and payments that cuts through the hype to offer an overview of different types of AI, and where they have potential applications within the finance industry.

In full, this report:. Interested in getting the full report? Account icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders. It often indicates a user profile. Login Subscribe.

My Account. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Lea Nonninger.Keep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world. Stay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert commentary and analysis you can trust. Sign in. Accessibility help Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer. Become an FT subscriber to read: BlackRock bulks up research into artificial intelligence Make informed decisions with the FT Keep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world.

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blackrock ai lab

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blackrock ai lab

Our thought leadership in investing, risk management, portfolio construction and trading solutions. The past three decades have shown our commitment to our platform, our people and our technology so that we can continue to deliver long-term value for our clients and our shareholders.

Our founders believed they could manage assets in a way that was better for their clients — by utilizing their passion for understanding and managing risk. This is the way the firm continues to be managed today. Recognizing the opportunity to bring transparency, scale and innovation to risk management for the broader industry, BlackRock begins to sell its proprietary technology, Aladdin. This technology, integral to who we are as a firm, is embedded in everything we do, thus differentiating us as an investment and risk manager.

BlackRock acquires Merrill Lynch Investment Management, expanding its retail and international presence. BlackRock plays a key advisory role to institutions across the globe seeking to navigate the financial crisis. With this acquisition, BlackRock makes the unprecedented move of bringing alpha and index strategies under one roof to provide a wider breadth of solutions for its clients. BlackRock launches iShares Core to provide investors with broad stock and bond market exposure at the foundation of their portfolios in a low-cost and tax-efficient way.

Given the changing wealth management landscape, BlackRock focuses on providing portfolio construction expertise to financial advisors by leveraging our diverse platform and portfolio construction technology. Aladdin Wealth, which benefits from the same data and risk capabilities used by our own investment teams, is sold to our first wealth management client. BlackRock further increases our commitment to Investment Stewardshipemphasizing the importance of purpose to long-term profitability.

BlackRock launches its first AI Lab in Palo Alto to accelerate its use of artificial intelligence and associated disciplines — machine learning, data science, natural language processing — to improve outcomes and drive progress for investors, clients and the firm. With two thirds of the assets we manage related to retirement, this new initiative was formed to explore innovative solutions to the most pressing retirement challenges. About Us. Investor Relations.

Careers at BlackRock. Learn more about BlackRock. Newsroom Overview Media Contacts.Inour founders set out to create a better asset management firm—one that was purpose-driven, focused on clients and risk management, and driven by data and technology. Culture inspires employees to go above and beyond their responsibilities every day, to solve the most difficult problems, and to join together as One BlackRock to help people invest for retirement and achieve their most important financial goals.

We challenge businesses to reach higher standards by leading with purpose and promoting policies and practices that support long-term value creation.

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Our promise to our clients is to deliver products and services that provide clarity on the financial markets to help influence better investments decisions.

As we pursue that mission, we are guided by our culture and a set of principles that ensure we never forget what we stand for — to help more and more people experience financial well-being. That is our ultimate purpose. We seek to hire people who believe in this pursuit and our values, known as the BlackRock Principles:.

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We are a fiduciary to our clients. We are passionate about performance. We are One BlackRock. We are innovators. Put simply, our mission is what we do. Our principles describe how we work and our purpose explains the reason we exist.

Our dedication to this cause is what drives our long-term strategy and the evolution of our business. We are building a culture where people can thrive. Where every voice can contribute and help drive innovation and performance. Our culture is highly collaborative and entrepreneurial. We work in a fast-paced, sometimes intense, environment that encourages — and allows — us to challenge ourselves and one another.

We look for opportunities to learn and develop great teams and leaders. We want people to take ownership of their work and create sound financial futures for themselves and their families, as well as give back to their local communities and society at large.

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All while never forgetting our purpose as a company and always striving to help our clients meet their goals. Human Rights Campaign.

Cities from New York to new players like Denver and Seattle are growing and developing by the second. Brick and mortar stores are being replaced by e-commerce, e-commerce companies are actually opening brick and mortar locations, and co-working and co-living spaces are becoming the norm. Real Estate at BlackRock, will discuss the three biggest disruptors to real estate and what that means for how we live and work.

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