The media-shy low/high-profile 110-year old investment manager Baillie Gifford last month pledged GBP5 million to the University of Edinburgh to support research into the ethical challenges posed by the growing use of data and AI.
Nick Thomas, a partner at the firm, stated: “We hope that our close collaboration with academics at the cutting edge of transformative technologies will accelerate the pace of research and bring tangible benefits to society.”
(BG has about GBP 200 billion in AUM, and is owned by 44 active partners).
But this is just the latest testing the AI waters for the Edinburgh-based asset manager – a year ago, as the FT reported, BG hired a former mathematician and four internal staff to figure out how to use AI to eliminate routine/boring tasks for PMs and also to figure out how AI can assist in long-term stock picking (BG holds stocks on average for five years). Baillie Gifford also put out “a future powered by AI”, below, to think through the investment and societal implications.
Internally, in addition to automating mundane PM tasks, the goal was to find algorithms that can look at and assess stocks in a new way, slicing certain data points in different and new ways based on the new power of Machine Learning, to give the PMs research and investment ideas.