Magazine article American Banker

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Banks Beat Tech Firms

Magazine article American Banker

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Banks Beat Tech Firms

Article excerpt

Byline: April Rudin

Watson may change everything.

No, I'm not talking about Sherlock Holmes' loyal sidekick. Watson is an IBM supercomputer that offers financial advice to returning veterans.

Last summer, USAA began using Watson to answer military members' many financial planning questions as they transition back to civilian life. But Watson is not just for the military, nor is it the only robot on the job in the financial services industry. More and more banks are getting cozy with artificial intelligence, using smart supercomputers to sort through gobs of data to answer complex customer service questions in real time and even to help with wealth management.

It's about time that the conservative banking industry caught up with the latest revolutions in technology. Gen Y and younger generations in particular are wedded to digital channels, social media and mobile devices. Many of them take a technology-first approach to their financial relationships and want personalized service tailored to their specific needs.

Genesys, a customer service company that caters to financial services institutions, plans to adapt Watson to its own purposes, using the supercomputer to address customer needs. Goldman Sachs has also gotten on board with artificial intelligence. The company last year led an investment of $15 million in Kensho Technologies, which makes robots that can answer "complex financial questions posed in plain English," according to its website. Then there's Kasisto, which has launched a kind of cousin to Watson: a virtual assistant for banking customers that not only understands natural language but responds to voice commands. And last year, UBS chose Singapore-based Sqreem Technologies to sort through wealth management customer data using AI applications. The apps then organize customer data into customized packages of information to be sent to their mobile phones and other digital devices. …

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