The U.S. Treasury Department has issued a warning regarding artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial sector. While acknowledging its vast potential for increased efficiency and access to financial products, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the “significant risks” AI poses to financial stability.

Yellen’s remarks come during a keynote address at a conference focused on AI’s impact. She highlighted the potential benefits of AI for financial institutions, including improved cybersecurity, more accurate financial forecasting, and enhanced customer service. AI-powered tools could also expand access to financial products and services, particularly for underserved communities.

However, Yellen cautioned that these advancements come with challenges. One major concern is the potential for bias in AI models, which can be influenced by the data they are trained on. This bias could lead to unfair lending practices or discriminatory algorithms.

Another risk is the centralization of AI models and data. If a limited number of companies control these resources, it could create a single point of failure and expose the entire financial system to significant vulnerabilities. Additionally, the “black box” nature of some AI models makes it difficult to understand their decision-making processes, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.

To address these concerns, Yellen called for a collaborative approach. She requested public comment from financial institutions, consumers, and other stakeholders to identify best practices and develop regulatory frameworks that encourage responsible AI development and adoption in the financial sector.

The Treasury Department is actively working with other regulators to mitigate the risks associated with AI in finance. This includes leveraging AI to combat financial crime, such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

Overall, the message from the U.S. Treasury is clear: AI presents both tremendous opportunities and significant risks for the financial sector. Moving forward, a balance needs to be struck to ensure that AI is harnessed for good while mitigating its potential dangers. Open dialogue and collaboration will be crucial in shaping a future where AI strengthens financial stability and benefits all participants in the system.