Three Considerations When Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Regulatory Compliance

Companies are investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) to save money and time—especially those in industries who have to constantly deal with regulatory compliance documents. After all, who wants to sift through endless amounts of tables and lists? Those working in legal, medical, or financial sectors are often all too familiar with this infamous struggle. And considering this, it makes sense that PwC predicts AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy in the near future. Busy work, laborious practices, and the humdrum of paperwork are not the most ideal job duty for any employee. This poses an important question: is AI powerful enough so that no employee will ever have to touch a regulatory compliance document again?

To help you answer that question, here are the top three things you need to consider:

Consideration #1: What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Fundamentally, we should think of artificial intelligence as a tool rather than a replacement for human expertise. AI doesn’t accomplish anything without a proper wielder to fully comprehend how to use it. Therefore, it’s key to rethink your AI strategy. Ask yourself, how are you approaching AI? 

Let’s first take a look at the problem at hand. Regulatory compliance documents require an extreme attention to detail due to their naturally complex text structure. That’s why traditional text analytics don’t necessarily do the trick. Essentially, what you want AI to do is to read, check, and extract data from a document that’s written and filled out by humans. 

The thing is these documents aren’t standardized, resulting in arbitrary changes in format and other elements. This puts AI in a tough situation. As a technology that functions through learning from examples, how can it learn if the examples change unpredictably?

Consideration #2: AI Cannot Succeed Alone

That doesn’t mean you should totally scrap AI, it just needs a little help. In the case of regulatory compliance, AI cannot succeed alone, but it can be a core part of your success. To tackle regulatory compliance documents, you need a combination of three technologies: 

  • Semi-Structured Data Parsing
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning and AI

Each of these technologies supply needed functions, such as extracting text, understanding the meaning of a text, pattern recognition and response, etc. But with all these helpful aids, the human eye still remains the most reliable. Technology may not be able to totally replace humans in this context, but it can certainly provide a solution that mitigates the heavy burden of regulatory compliance.

Consideration #3: Designing an Effective and Personal AI Strategy

It’s likely that your specific industry and country encounters problems other companies outside of your field or location don’t. In that way, making sure that your AI implementation covers all bases in the documents you process can feel like a solo battle. And that’s why you need to invest in a platform that will allow for the customization your brand needs. Regulatory compliance documents vary depending on the business setting and thus have unique requirements for AI to fulfill.

Wrapping It Up

So the short answer is no, in this case AI cannot fully replace humans in regulatory compliance. But it can certainly aid businesses in working more efficiently and effectively. Rather than approaching this as AI or humans, one or the other, it should instead be AI for humans. Many AI for compliance tools fail to provide useful solutions because they don’t understand this complex relationship.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to sharpen your approach to AI for regulatory compliance, read the full white paper where we also include specific case examples!

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