Goldman Sachs' Top Tech Banker: "Invest in Machine Learning or Stay Behind"

Goldman Sachs' Top Tech Banker: "Invest in Machine Learning or Stay Behind"

Robert Woolliams

October 20, 2016

3 Min Read

Machine Learning is making its way into Silicone Valley, and if you are not investing in it, you are "behind the times", top tech banker at Goldman Sachs, George Lee says. 

In an interview with CNBC, the co-chairman of the global technology, media and telecom group at Goldman Sachs shares his thoughts about the future of AI, and its role within the financial world.

"Those themes sounds a little fantastiscal, futuristic and a glimpse into the future, I'd say actually in Silicone Valley, those are a glimpse into the present", Lee says when talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning.

"These things are far more pervasive and impactful today than you would guess".

Lee explains that if you work in or for a company that delivers software designed to deliver insight to clients and you are not investing in machine learning, you are "behind the times".

Lee predicts that the future of analytical platforms will only get smarter by the time, saying:

"One of the big themes you will see in the next three or four years is all of the software we use, all of the analytical platforms we use are just getting smarter and smarter and of higher utility to humans that are using it".

Lee explains that for that to happen they need data, and vast amounts of it.  He says that the most successful people in AI and the machine learning world are those who have gathered enormous amounts of data. "One of the magic pieces of artificial intelligence and machine learning is: can you find the data to create insight?"

When looking specifically at investment banking, what does Lee stress as the "theme"?

At Goldman Sachs, investing in these areas, and continuously work towards improving your software, making it smarter and faster, Lee says.

"The idea of investing heavily in these areas and being cognisant of the opportunity to make your software or your service better, smarter and faster through the use of these technologies is a consistent theme across our clients".

CNBC closes off the interview with the "big question": "Will artificial intelligence be a more important advance than the Internet, is that true?"

"I think it is a momentus developement that will change our world and even the course of our species, in ways that are hard to predict today", Lee says.

He predicts that despite the hype around how amazing the Internet has been, it might be best remembered as the predicate for machine learning and deep learning.

"The ability to have constructed compute at scale in a network, and as a way to collect data that used to train all these algortihms. They are very parallell, but I think it is going to nearly as momentus, as not as important".

The interview was first published at:

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