JPMorgan Chase has consolidated its reputation as an AI research powerhouse, according to new data from benchmarking platform Evident.
The figures suggest that the banking giant has steadily increased its share of AI research output from 30% in 2018 to 45% in 2023 amidst heavy investment in AI talent.
The bank employs over 200 AI researchers, more than four times that of its nearest rival Royal Bank of Canada and nearly half of the talent pool available across the Top 10 banks for AI research.
According to the report, AI research capability is increasingly recognised as a prerequisite of future AI success. Banks are reliant on published research to showcase their AI credentials to prospective talent, partners and shareholders and, in the last year, the world’s biggest banks produced over 330 research papers specific to AI, a 6x increase in industry-wide output in five years.
Annabel Ayles, Evident co-founder and co-CEO says: “Our data shows a clear correlation between the banks that doubled down on AI research five years ago and their current leadership position, while those that haven’t made the same kind of investment are finding their AI capabilities constrained."
The data identifies HSBC, BBVA and Goldman Sachs as key banks to watch in 2024, with all of them growing their AI research teams more than their rivals in 2023, making them well-positioned to achieve outsized gains moving forward.
Says Ayles: “It takes time to build AI research capability - and even longer for those teams to generate research output - but we can already see new players such as HSBC, BBVA and Goldman Sachs investing in this space, and ramping up their efforts quickly. They may not be immediately able to challenge the industry leaders’ AI dominance, but it could be the move that keeps them in the race.”
The Top 10 banks for AI research accounted for over 80% of total industry output between 2018-2023. Notably, the share produced by US banks each year is nearly 70% with only two European banks - BBVA and Intesa Sanpaolo - and no Asian banks troubling the rankings.
Evident notes that the Top 10 banks share common DNA - namely, they have centralised AI capability in a dedicated Research Lab or centre of excellence, which serves as a key lever to attract and retain leading talent.
Alexandra Mousavizadeh, Evident co-founder and CEO, comments: “Producing cutting edge AI research is how the banks are able to assert their strategic positioning as AI innovators and leaders. Without it, they will struggle to recruit the best talent or convince partners and stakeholders that they are serious players in a marketplace that is increasingly defined in terms of who is AI-ready and who isn’t.”
“The arrival of Gen AI is also leading many banks to review where in the organisation the research team sits and ensure that are both central and federated approaches to organisation-wide AI use-case identification. It all comes down to how quickly you can scale AI across the bank.”