For long, Artificial Intelligence in modern pop culture has been associated with the image of giant metal humanoids taking over the world in a dystopian future courtesy filmmaker James Cameron and physicist/author Stephen Hawking. But modern technological advancements have taught us that automation is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, artificial intelligence is here to simplify our lives.
Many financial institutions across the world have been relying on technological advances in the field of artificial intelligence to make banking more convenient and consumer friendly. They use data mining to create meaningful information, customise user requests to be both specific and reliable, and of course add security measures to safeguard your account from fraud – money management and access has never been this instant, and the future only seems brighter and better.
Without even realising, we use Artificial Intelligence everyday, while using conversational knowledge navigators like Siri for iOS or Google Voice for Android. Our smartphones are getting smarter by the day , giving us updates on simple things like time to go to work, hands-free assisted searching and messaging, and even prodding us when we forget to attach a document in an email. This automation is a by-product of research and development in Artificial Intelligence. In fact Google and IBM are working together on Artificial Intelligence research for creating a super computer called Watson that could impact our future dramatically. Watson is busy learning everything about human nature and the complexities of our behaviour in order to predict and advise on our future actions. Infact Watson has ingested 2000 TED Talks and is now prepared to answer our deepest questions like - what is the relationship between money and psychology? What is the secret to happiness? What is the meaning of life? Personal banking in an essential part of our day-to-day activities. In the future, bots like Watson could be employed by banks to stop us from making unsound financial choice, in real time. For instance, while trading if you buy too many shares of a company, an automated Know Your Customer and Sustainability Tool will pop-up to prevent you from doing so. If you make an impulse buy at a sale of a pair of shoes you don’t really need, basis your past purchases of shoes, it could send you an alert and deter you from doing so and point at your future savings plan.
Recently, a bunch of new banking tech startups took AI a step further by creating solutions that takes undifferentiated data from your bank statements to futher analyse into actual usable information. For instance Kasisto, created by SRI international, is a voice-recognition addition to banking apps that allows consumers to ask specific questions about their accounts. It can check for a random ₹ 300 transaction made at a coffee shop or more complex queries like “How much have I spent at a convenience store this month?” Another similar app called MoneyStream is a finance prediction service that understands your spending patterns and is able to create a calendar of transactions for the future. It’s quite like having your personal banker on call 24x7.
Use of Artificial Intelligence in banking can be traced back to 1987, when Security Pacific National Bank in USA set-up a Fraud Prevention Task force to counter the unathorised use of debit cards at ATM machines and sales counters. The bank built a prototype on a regular departmental computer to act as an early warning system to prevent fraud, modelled around the weather systems that warned against possible natural disasters like earthquakes and cyclones. The prototype proved successful and paved the way for Artificial Intelligence-enabled technology to enter into more consumer interactive products and services.
Scientists and Sci-fi visionaries, over decades, have worked on creating thinking machines and automation to a moment in time when we will be able to harness the technology to propel businesses. Business intelligence is growing at a fast pace with exponential growth in technology capabilities, smarter analytics engines and the surge in data. Artificial Intelligence has limitless possibilities and the future is not far when bot advisors will be available - speed analysing our spending patterns, understanding our personality-based financial goals and helping us reach them faster while limiting human error to a minimum. It is a brave new world out there, and we are only just stepping in it.