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UK-based fintech Evident creates the first AI Index to track banks’ progress in implementation

The news: A new index that tracks banks’ implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) puts JPMorgan at the top of the list, per TechCrunch.

First of its kind: UK-based startup Evident created the index, which ranks the 23 largest banks in North America and Europe by their ability to develop and deploy AI-powered solutions.

  • The index scores the bank across four factors: AI-focused talent, AI innovation, leadership in AI strategy and implementation, and transparency of responsible AI practices.
  • The fintech claims its index is the first of its kind, as it’s based on “millions of public data points.” Previous attempts to measure AI implementation progress were based on self-reported metrics and were prone to bias.
  • Evident plans to add more banks to the index over time, including regional and digital banks. It also said it will expand its coverage to different sectors, including insurance, health, and energy.

Founded in 2022, Evident recently received $3 million in funding from major investors, including an early backer of Revolut.

The results: Based on the inaugural rankings, North American banks seem to have a clear lead over European banks. Seven of the banks in the top 10 were North American.

  • JPMorgan, which is known for its heavy spending on AI technology, tops the list with a score of 65%.
  • Royal Bank of Canada, Citi, UBS, and Wells Fargo round out the top five.
  • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley ranked at middle of the pack. Both banks received low scores on transparency as they are less than forthcoming about their AI governance rules.

The index founders note that it doesn’t differentiate between banks that develop their own AI platforms and banks that buy AI solutions from third-party providers. They also make it clear that the index can only measure AI capability. It doesn’t measure the success of an AI platform by its return on investment.

Our take: Some banking analysts are calling for AI to take off in the industry in 2023 as banks continuously seek to up their digital game, simplify tasks for employees, and provide a more personalized and user-friendly customer experience.

Though AI-based solutions like chatbots powered by technology like ChatGPT will likely gain traction this year, the technology still has some wrinkles to iron out. It can’t replace humans just yet, and plenty of known and unknown risks are associated with its use. But Evident’s AI index is the industry’s first objective glance at which banks are prioritizing AI and how much they are banking on the technology for the future.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence’s Banking Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the banking industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.