Massachusetts securities regulators have launched a comprehensive investigation into the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on the securities industry. On August 3, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin announced the scope of the investigation, focusing on how firms use AI to interact with Massachusetts investors.
Galvin’s securities division sent letters of inquiry to registered and unregistered firms exploring or implementing AI for securities business operations. The regulators want to know how companies are using AI and how it may affect investors.
Firms in this broad investigation have until August 16, 2023, to respond to regulatory inquiries. Galvin is interested in these firms’ AI supervision. The regulators are especially concerned about AI systems prioritizing the firm’s interests over clients’. The investigation will also examine AI-using companies’ disclosure policies.
In light of AI’s rapid growth, Galvin stresses the importance of U.S. securities regulators protecting investors. Galvin acknowledges the technology’s potential but stresses the importance of proper disclosure and conflict resolution to protect investors.
Massachusetts securities regulators are also investigating AI-generated investor marketing materials. The goal is to determine AI’s influence on such materials and investor understanding and decision-making.
The global regulatory landscape is increasingly concerned about AI and its far-reaching effects. In their second fiscal quarter 2023 earnings calls, major tech companies mentioned AI more, indicating its widespread growth. However, regulators have been concerned about AI risks for years. The Financial Stability Board raised concerns about AI and machine learning in financial services in 2017. They warned of natural monopolies or oligopolies and the financial instability that could result from disruptions in these technology giants.
As the investigation progresses, regulators are committed to transparency and investor protection despite rapid AI advancements. The securities industry must balance innovation and investor protection.