Candice Tal is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Infortal Worldwide, and one of the top experts around on due diligence. In an interview, I asked Tal about the use of AI in investigative due diligence and specifically how AI has led innovation in investigative due diligence. Tal believes that AI will be a “game changer” in compliance. Massive data sets require some type of AI to sort through and analyze the information. This is particularly important for internal controls and accounting books and records provisions to identify massive fraud. This is yet another area which is still developing. Tal stated, “I’ll frame that by saying at least in the next few years, there will still be a need for the traditional investigative approach that the boots on the ground, one where an investigator goes out and physically checks on facilities. Artificial intelligence is going to have limited ability to do that.” While drones may become part of an investigators tool kit, Tal believes that AI will be used “in a similar way to most data aggregators today. They find about 80% of the information. Yet there will always be the remaining 20% which they cannot find and you will need human intervention on the investigative side.”

Looking down the road to the veiled land of the future, Tal sees continued innovation facilitating investigative due diligence. While AI is more than simply on the horizon, she said it “is a tried and tested methodology that has existed for many years, in terms of how you look for and locate shell companies.” It is also true about finding information about people who are trying to deliberately hide information. The bottom line is some of these investigative techniques involve old-fashioned shoe leather or simply hard diligent investigative work and “that’s not new”. Yet AI and other technological tools can make investigations more efficient and more cost effective, while giving better results. At the end of the day, AI can be used to sharpen and hone the due diligence process.

Three key takeaways:

  1. AI can help change the face of due diligence.
  2. AI will facilitate data aggregation in due diligence investigations.
  3. Always remember the human element.