AI & Financial Services

Artificial intelligence and other automated software are changing the landscape in financial services such as banking, investment, and insurance.

Already we’re seeing advertising for online banking and lending services, and for online loan applications submitted to a variety of banking institutions. You can handle your deposits and pay your bills online, bypassing the postal service among other things. You can even transfer money online.

If you can’t already, you will soon be able to completely automate your financial services so your income gets deposited and your bills get paid without you having to lift a finger. In fact, you might never have to visit a physical bank. It’s a great convenience if you don’t want to be bothered, as long as nothing goes wrong. What could possibly go wrong with computers?

If you use online banking and have a problem, you won’t be able to visit a physical bank. Instead, you’ll get an automated AI customer service agent that will deal with your issues like the telephone decision trees you get with other customer service departments. Of course in time, these AI agents will get better to remove the aggravation we currently experience. We’re seeing hints of that in the automated voice-recognition systems that are attempting to duplicate the human experience.

On the investment side, we’re already seeing AI programs doing automated trading. In fact, we’ve had several market-crash days as a result of this mechanical reaction to a set of market conditions. This happens when enough of these programs have a similar set of guidelines in response to similar events. For example, a group of such automated programs might all sell when the price drops 5%, causing a massive selloff.

It’s inevitable that as long as automated trading is permitted that individuals and financial firms will utilize AI technology to manage their finances to maximize their gains and minimize their losses. Unfortunately, while an individual might gain advantage by doing so, the stampede effect of many such programs having the same idea causes panics. In fact, as these systems get more advanced, the unintended consequences will be periodic super-crashes that increase uncertainty. We can expect more unsettled effects in the markets unless and until guidelines are set around automated trading.

We are inundated with online insurance ads. Behind them and coming soon are online applications with AI evaluation of your application and quick response. You’ll be asked questions like in an interview and based on your answers and certain background information like viewing your credit report, the insurance AI will say yeah or nay. You can find instant gratification or annoyance any time of day or night.

Basically, for most any form of financial service you as a consumer can imagine, there will be online applications backed by automated software often using artificial intelligence. Because of its reliance on numbers, financial services are particularly suited to the new wave of AI automation.

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