Dimon Likens AI’s Transformational Potential to the Steam Engine

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said artificial intelligence may be the biggest issue his bank is grappling with, likened its potential impact to that of the steam engine and said the technology could “augment virtually every job.”

The CEO devoted a chunk of his annual shareholder letter to the importance of AI for the Wall Street giant’s business and for society at large. The bank has identified more than 400 use cases for the technology across marketing, fraud and risk, amassed thousands of AI experts and data scientists and begun exploring deploying generative AI, Dimon said.

“We are completely convinced the consequences will be extraordinary and possibly as transformational as some of the major technological inventions of the past several hundred years,” Dimon said in the letter. “Think the printing press, the steam engine, electricity, computing and the Internet, among others.”

Dimon delivered his verdict on AI’s importance in an expansive dispatch that also lambasted a set of regulatory proposals, sounded a stark warning on geopolitics, took aim at shareholder advisory firms and offered a spirited defense of the role of market making in the financial system. And as expected, the 68-year-old weighed in on the economy, reiterating his concern that risks of persistent inflation, quantitative tightening and the ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Middle East loom large even as the US economy remains robust.

“These markets seem to be pricing in at a 70% to 80% chance of a soft landing — modest growth along with declining inflation and interest rates,” Dimon wrote. “I believe the odds are a lot lower than that.”