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OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2021

AI in Business and Finance

image of OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2021

The OECD Business and Finance Outlook is an annual publication that presents unique data and analysis on the trends, both positive and negative, that are shaping tomorrow’s world of business, finance and investment. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has progressed rapidly in recent years and is being applied in settings ranging from health care, to scientific research, to financial markets. It offers opportunities, amongst others, to reinforce financial stability, enhance market efficiency and support the implementation of public policy goals. These potential benefits need to be accompanied by appropriate governance frameworks and best practices to mitigate risks that may accompany the deployment of AI systems in both the public and private sphere.

Using analysis from a wide range of perspectives, this year’s edition examines the implications arising from the growing importance of AI-powered applications in finance, responsible business conduct, competition, foreign direct investment and regulatory oversight and supervision. It offers guidelines and a number of policy solutions to help policy makers achieve a balance between harvesting the opportunities offered by AI while also mitigating its risks.

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Managing access to AI advances to safeguard countries’ essential security interests

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has potential to resolve many challenges that our societies face, but as with all innovations, foreign acquisitions of some AI applications may raise security concerns.International investment in established companies is an important vector for diffusion of AI-related technologies across borders. Concerns about implications for essential security interests have led to tighter government control over such acquisitions, with AI-related technologies often explicitly included in the scope of investment screening mechanisms.Financing of research abroad is a parallel legal avenue to acquire know-how that is unavailable domestically. It can substitute for acquisitions of established companies. Governments have now begun to set out policies to control such transfers, specifically for AI-related areas. As for foreign investment in equity, such policies need to be carefully devised to avoid forgoing the benefits of international research cooperation. Policy principles agreed at the OECD to strike this balance could offer inspiration.

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