As one of the most ancient tenets of human societies, money and finance have been constantly evolving with advances in technology and science. As technology continues to take leaps and bounds and permeates every aspect of life, we can expect banking and finance to change.
So, how will technology transform financial services in the next few years? We asked experts to share their perspectives, and here are five trends we think are worth watching.
Natural language processing
The past decade has seen tremendous advances in natural language processing, the field of artificial intelligence that extracts meaning and context from spoken and written language. Natural Language Processing (NLP) provides an unprecedented opportunity to obtain value from Word and PDF documents, emails, chat logs, social media posts, and the vast amounts of unstructured data that constitute much of the web.
In the world of finance, we’re already seeing the benefits of natural language processing in banking chatbots, legal document scanning, and other applications. But the best is yet to come.
“Customers already interact with banks using unstructured data today (e.g. providing a scan of a passport, a salary slip or annual report for a loan application),” says Dennis de Reus, Head of Artificial Intelligence at ABN AMRO. “I expect we will see a lot more applications of AI within the existing processes. Looking further out, I think the role of external unstructured data will grow, for example, by taking into account recent news articles to prevent fraud or other criminal behavior by clients.”
“In the future, AI will support every customer interaction,” de Reus adds. “It will connect you to the best person, it will make personalized suggestions to ABN AMRO employees on the best answers for your question, it will suggest personalized/bespoke solutions, it will automatically summarize your conversation and send you the agreed actions, etc. When you call the bank, you’ll still speak to a human, but they’ll be supercharged through AI.”
As we see new leaps in NLP performance thanks to new AI technologies such as Transformers, BERT, and GPT-3, new pathways will open for innovation in banking.
“These are very interesting models that show great promise for future applications. Especially GPT-3’s recent performance is truly amazing. On the back of these developments we’ll see better AI-supported customer interactions,” de Reus says.
ABN AMRO is already using NLP-powered chatbots to provide better customer service. It is also using AI to help the customer support staff in finding answers in the company’s knowledge base and relevant information in previous exchanges with a customer. It would be interesting to see how future innovations in AI and NLP will help propel these efforts forward.
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