For several years now, the new technologies revolution, currently at play in the financial sector, has become apparent in many fields and is shaking up traditional players like banks, insurers and asset managers. It is worth noting that their scope of application has considerably expanded, particularly with the popularization of artificial intelligence learning methods, such as machine and deep learning, and the increasing development of fintechs. The inflow, availability and better understanding of Internet and mobile application data has of course enabled this technological transformation.

Recent applications and innovations in finance include robo-advisors, algorithm-based virtual financial advisors that allow savers to invest in assets meant to better represent their individual risk profile and individual preferences. Although this type of product is not yet widespread in France, it is likely to develop further in the next years, for several reasons not limited to: a finer analysis of the needs of individual investors, more systematic warnings generated by automation, and lower management fees allowing wider access to less wealthy populations. However, for these projections to be achieved, the algorithms developed and used must necessarily include explicability and avoid becoming black boxes. In this regard, humans must play a major role in supporting these technologies so that they can benefit as many people as possible.

In order to gain a clearer understanding of the subject, which combines mathematical modelling of new technologies, individual investor preferences and interactions between humans and machines, Milo Bianchi and Marie Brière, leading researchers in economics and finance, have contributed to this new issue of the Opinions & Debates collection.

Enjoy your reading!

Jean-Michel Beacco, Delegate General of the Institut Louis Bachelier