BlackRock's memo outlines its plans to "democratize coding" by giving "everyone the ability to code" through the use of generative AI – "Users can speak in their natural language and AI models will write the code, making English the coding language of the future," the memo states.
The memo stresses the importance the firm has placed on building its own AI tools, powered by its own proprietary data and technology, rather than buying them on the open market.
"Notably, we are building tools where we can develop a unique advantage as BlackRock, versus buying tools that will be standard across the industry," the memo said.
BlackRock's technology platform, Aladdin – which generated $1.4 billion in revenue last year – is used by over 1,000 outside firms for some or all of their investment processes, meaning BlackRock has a lot of valuable data with which to work.
In the memo, the firm stated that it planned to take a "walled garden" approach to generative AI, meaning its tools will be powered by its own data alone and that data will not "leave (BlackRock's) walls to fit other GenAI models."
BlackRock and its CEO Larry Fink have long been fired up about the transformational potential for generative AI. The firm launched its AI Labs in 2018 and has 100 AI professionals in various departments, according to the memo.
"Like the advancement of the personal computer, internet, and mobile phone, the promise and potential of GenAI to transform how we work and live is enormous," the memo stated.