The world of artificial intelligence is becoming less a sci-fi movie plot and more an everyday reality. Defined as the science of designing computers which are capable of carrying out tasks requiring human levels of intelligence, artificial intelligence (AI) technology systems have been developed at an astounding rate since their arrival in the 1980s and are now ready to be rolled out into many sectors of public life, especially banking. Barclays bank has famously stated that they are actively pursuing this technology, with others sure to follow.
Many well-known names in technology are already working on their artificial intelligence systems, with Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now for Android leading the field. The rise of smartphone technology has brought about the potential for banking customers to use banking apps which integrate with these systems through their mobile phones.
So what are the benefits of using AI for the banking sector? The precise nature of computer driven processes eliminate the risk of human error, while automation operations have economical benefits. A study of banks using digital technology, conducted by Cognizant, stated other benefits, including improved management of repeatable tasks, reduced friction, and less reliance on multiple systems to complete a process. On the consumer side, customers should receive more reliable, standardised customer service and banking.
Here are of some of the fascinating ways AI might be used in the financial sector, now and in the future:
Barclays are hoping to roll out a talking robot computer system which customers can speak to in order to make their financial transactions, possibly using a similar system to Apple’s Siri AI personal assistant. Customers could ask the system questions and request financial transaction be carried out. This could potentially replace banking roles such as cashier, mortgage broker, loan assessor, and insurance underwriters. The benefits to consumers would be a standardised, expert service. Whether this is more or less popular than a traditional human interaction remains to be seen.
Large global banks, such as UBS, are working towards developing artificial intelligence systems which can mine customer data for essential information and insights. This information could be used by the banks to improve their services and attract further customers.
The Wall Street we see in the movies, with a packed floor of shouting traders, is a thing of the past. Much of trading processes on Wall Street have been replaced by computers, making trades faster than a human ever could. Complex algorithms and codes have been designed to assess the market and make trades and investments efficiently and quickly. Customers wanting to invest can cut out the middle man, the trader, and have their money invested at a lower cost by a computer.
Reporting is an essential part of the financial sector. AI systems are increasingly likely to be used to report on performance, investments, fraud and compliance, as well as to use this data to formulate strategies and policies.
But what are the challenges for the sector as it becomes more and more automated? Obviously robust systems are of crucial importance, but the main challenge is data security for customers. One things for sure, we’ll be seeing fewer and fewer real life humans in banks.
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