Rapidly Evolving AI Landscape Requires Adaptability Both from Businesses and Individuals  — LSEG Technology Innovation Head

A peek into how LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) sees AI as a transformational shift for the industry.
Rapidly Evolving AI Landscape Requires Adaptability Both from Businesses and Individuals  — LSEG Technology Innovation Head

“I have seen a couple of major shifts throughout my career that have transformed the market. The first was the move to the public cloud. The current transformational shift is AI.” That’s  Hanna Helin’s take on the impact of AI on the world around us.

Helin is the Global Head of Technology Innovation at LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group), global financial markets infrastructure  and data provider.

With over 16 years in the industry, she possesses extensive expertise in driving innovation and implementing strategic business initiatives within dynamic and complex environments. Helin’s team is responsible for driving AI from LSEG’s technology perspective and tracks the market for emerging technologies that have potential for use across its business or customer base.

In an interview with CDO Magazine, she speaks about LSEG’s AI strategy and reveals that the organization is using AI to improve customer service and build advanced analytics capabilities.

Here’s the full interview.

Edited excerpts:

Q. You have been in the industry for over 16 years. What are some of the key learnings when it comes to an enterprise’s digital journey? How important is leveraging emerging technologies quickly?

Enterprises must prioritize their needs and determine the most effective solutions. For instance, the shift to the cloud was primarily driven by the desire to eliminate the management of on-premise software and storage for growing datasets and processing power.

Similarly, exploring the realm of AI is now crucial for organizations, given its transformative potential across various roles, from technology and strategy to sales. However, finding the right strategy to benefit from this technology is key.

While the prospect of AI working collaboratively to enhance efficiency and elevate professionals in their roles holds substantial promise, the transformative influence of AI is not limited to professional spheres. It could transcend into one’s personal life giving rise to applications such as personalized fitness or nutrition co-pilots and personal AI assistants. This can shape the way individuals manage their well-being and daily routines.

However, amidst this progress, it's essential to acknowledge the risks associated with AI, particularly in industries like finance, where precision is paramount. Concerns such as AI hallucination underscore the importance of maintaining data quality and integrity to ensure responsible AI practices.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about how LSEG is leveraging generative AI?

We have been working with AI for a while. It is built into much of what we do –  to improve customer experience, productivity, and relevance of information enabling our customers to securely create differentiated insights out of vast amounts of data.

With generative AI, we have an opportunity to interact with technology differently. With natural language processing (NLP), AI systems can comprehend, interpret, and respond to human language, facilitating seamless communication and interaction between users and machines.

Large language models (LLM), the power behind generative AI, are still new, but they have huge potential to empower customers to do more, faster. We are working with partners like Microsoft to leverage generative AI to transform the way customers gain insights from data and make their workflows more efficient.

However, it is also crucial to note that generative AI is only as good as the quality of the data it is trained on. LSEG’s depth and breadth of high-quality data, financial services expertise, and modeling enable us to support customers to safely gain from the benefits of this technology.

Q. Data security and privacy are paramount in the financial sector. What strategies or technologies has LSEG employed to ensure data protection during digital transformation initiatives?

At the heart of LSEG’s AI Strategy, is our Responsible AI Framework. This is a scalable, multi-model LLM framework, which embeds a set of principles to help us and our customers build and adopt ‘responsible AI by design.’

It operates under the conditions of ensuring the quality and breadth of data, with our vast data assets undergoing thorough cleaning and codification for accuracy and reliability. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of ensuring the integrity and lineage of model inputs. Moreover, since LSEG's data is fully auditable, customers can easily verify the source of their data.

Security and resilience are at the core of everything we do. We collaborate closely with our security team for all technology initiatives to ensure data protection and security considerations are baked into planning and initiatives from the get-go.

Q. Many legacy systems exist in the financial industry. What are the hindrances that companies with legacy systems need to overcome on their digital transformation journey?

In the highly interconnected financial industry, it is imperative for organizations to thoughtfully assess the potential ramifications when formulating solutions and processes. The intricate relationships within the sector necessitate a careful and thoughtful approach to digital transformation.

For many global organizations in the financial space, there may also be complex technology stacks to navigate or regulatory angles to consider, before transforming their systems. But in recent years, the public cloud has offered a new platform and ecosystem for many organizations to reset their core systems and provide a baseline for faster technological change.

Hence, emerging technologies can also act as an accelerator with the potential to drive transformational change and innovation across organizations.

Q. What is your take on cross-functional collaboration across different teams and departments when it comes to successful transformation projects?

Cross-functional collaboration is key in any large global organization. Due to the complexity of our offerings and our target market of financial services, there are various considerations which we need to think about to achieve success. For example, collaboration across technology, business, legal, risk and sales teams is key for a successful strategy and launching new solutions.

Q. Can you provide insights into the role of leadership in overcoming challenges related to digital transformation? What qualities do you believe are essential for leaders in this context?

The current market is moving fast when it comes to new technologies. New solutions and capabilities are coming to market at a faster pace than ever. Maintaining adaptability is crucial. 

Leaders should foster an open mind and curiosity to constantly acquire new insights, ensuring ongoing improvement. Staying receptive to change and new perspectives is essential for sustained leadership growth.

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