Find opportunities with artificial intelligence

Find opportunities with artificial intelligence

‘Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data it crunches.’

May 22, 2017

“Artificial Intelligence and smarter machines are set to revolutionize our world,” says an article at Geospatial World. There is a lot of hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), and perhaps confusion as businesses consider the magnitude of change that will result with its influence.

AI is “machine learning,” and uses neural networks, natural language, and other components to identify patterns within data sets and compare them to yield discoveries very difficult to otherwise obtain.

The result?

A range of benefits and opportunities in data analysis for enterprises prepared to embrace the technology: New products, efficiencies in supply chains, improved customer service, and innovations like wearable technology.

“Are businesses ready?” the article asks. “Where will they invest and how will they build these innovative solutions?”

There are a variety of impacts in financial services, the article notes. Prediction of transactions, early fraud identification, linking customer information, and patterns in cash flow are a few areas ripe for AI’s influence.

This week, explore the use of AI in financial services. Do you know what benefits you might find?

‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.’ --Albert Einstein

“Bankers believe AI will revolutionize the way banks gather information and interact with customers,” notes a new Accenture report.

Consumers have a wide variety of needs and expectations that require service providers consider how they best meet demand and create loyalty.

Traditional modes of serving consumers evolve from the physical realm to the digital, allowing for increased personalization of products and services.

“The challenge will be how quickly banks can implement these new technologies, many of which are not compatible with their existing IT structure,” says Alan McIntyre, senior managing director at Accenture and head of the company’s banking practice.

Key findings:

  • 34% of bankers surveyed intend to use better understanding of consumer behavior to create new experiences.
  • 89% think consumers are happy with personalization.
  • 67% indicate they are challenged in understanding consumer needs and wants.
  • 25% said “their organizations are already taking aggressive steps” to join in digital ecosystems.

“Banks Flocking to Artificial Intelligence,” notes an article at News & Record, an information source serving Greensboro and other areas in North Carolina.

Financial providers have been reluctant to embrace AI and robotics, but regulations and customer demand have increased interest.

Some contributors to the slow adoption include security concerns and its “new” and untested technology. But as digitization increases, banks will need to find less labor-intensive ways to meet consumer need.

“The AI/robotics trend is very real… and has seriously positive implications for the expense base, profit ratios and shareholder returns in the future,” notes one expert.

A survey reveals banking institutions are in “early stages” of AI adoption; 32% of survey participants say they now use predictive analytics, voice recognition and response, and recommendation engines.

‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ --Stephen Hawking

Another impact of AI is noted in EY’s Global Banking Outlook. Technology will bring dramatic change to those working in banking, “eliminating, evolving and creating roles across the business.”

The workforce will need to adapt, and an “intrapreneurial” attitude to embrace innovation is a necessity; existing banking platforms will need to be upgraded, and staff must learn cutting-edge technologies.

Successful entities “will increase investment in staff who develop advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence… as well as those with basic programming skills,” the post says.

‘By far, the greatest danger of artificial intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.’ --Eliezer Yudkowsky, AI researcher

Fintech is another consideration in AI evolution.

Note the predictions of five fintech AI experts, according to

  1. Automation, as fintechs move influence up from the back office to operations in research and communications to improve customer experience.
  2. AI will replace traditional analysts with “hybrid financial/quantitative professionals with a broader range of technology experience.”
  3. Financial providers will increase involvement in adjacent industries like real estate.
  4. Banks will grow use of AI in business operations but hold back in consumer-facing jobs “due to concerns about performance and reputation risk”--fintechs will drive consumer-facing applications.
  5. Providers must consider opportunities for personalization in real-time, “AI driven workflows will play an instrumental role for banks in the future.”

See Finovate’s post, “A Fintech Filter for Artificial Intelligence in 2017” and note eight areas of influence for AI.

They include robo advisory use in portfolio management, automated client portfolio management, fraud detection, underwriting, and compliance.

Also discover impacts in marketing as AI anticipates consumer need, influence in customer service as providers identify those consumers who may depart, and growth of reporting tools to facilitate quick and efficient distribution of information.

An article at Payments International sums things up with “Three Steps to Improving Customer Engagement with Artificial Intelligence.”

First, take advantage of AI’s capability to “design new customer-centric experiences,” as traditional, impersonal messaging becomes irrelevant when consumers expect personalization.

Second, leverage social media. “Brands must develop relationships with the customer through social media, via storytelling and creating opportunities for dialogue,” the article notes.

And, third, know that AI will forge connections between engagement in social media and in-person contact. It will allow providers to understand things like consumer wants and what they can afford, and help organizations form strategy.

Artificial intelligence offers a wealth of opportunity in the banking industry, and those in financial services are more willing to investigate and implement its advantages.

Don’t forget a critical building block as you consider the role of AI in your operations: Per technology writer Jonathan Vanian, “Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data it crunches.”


LORA BRAY is a market intelligence analyst for CUNA’s economics and statistics department. Follow her on Twitter via @Bray_Lora and visit the CUNA blog, The Research Roundup: Economic Perspectives.