Now that we’re halfway into the Artificially Enhanced Banking Crowdstorm, we are excited to share this third blog post in our series of four exploring the background, culture, trends, and inspirations in the wide world of artificial intelligence. You can get up to speed by reading the first two posts, “An Introduction to AI Through Film” and “What Designers Need to Know about AI: A Crash Course.”
Artificial intelligence is booming and there are plenty of great examples out there to learn from. Here are five examples that will get you inspired, drawn from services in finance, communication, and even law.
Wallet.AI is a service that helps users save money through good spending habits. The ai monitors all of a user’s transactions. When a less-than-thrifty transaction pattern is detected, the user is alerted with a text message designed to change their behavior. For example, if you use Uber, the service might point out how much money you could save with normal taxis instead. In this use case, the AI interacts directly with customers.
Affirm is a lending startup that uses AI-based technologies, including evolutionary algorithms, to profile potential borrowers automatically. Unlike Wallet.ai, this product’s ai does not interface directly with customers, instead improving the product offering from backstage. The service is available through select merchants selling things like jewelry and furniture. Specific vendors which generally cater to low-risk buyers helps Affirm to eliminate some risk from their business model, which is built on being more permissive with loans than most other lenders.
IBM’s Watson is a major artificial intelligence project with many spinoffs and sub-projects. Most of Watson’s applications are in the healthcare space, but a handful of them are in financial services. One of these is a virtual agent named Eva, a clever acronym for Enhanced Virtual Assistant. Eva enables end users of financial service products to complete transactions such as transferring money and paying bills.
A great example of Eva in action is at the USAA, the $20 billion provider of financial services to veterans and active soldiers of the United States military. Eva helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life by allowing them execute up to 200 different transactions—things like transferring funds or paying bills—just by talking. According to a Harvard Business Review interview with Neff Hudson of USAA, Eva “makes search better and answers in a Siri-like voice. But this is a 1.0 version. Our next step is to create a virtual agent that is capable of learning…Our goal is [for Eva] to be our members’ personal financial agent for our full range of services.”
Understanding legal jargon is a huge problem (and when you think about it, it’s not too different from understanding complex financial jargon). Legal Robot is an AI service that helps everyday people understand contract documents without having to pay pricey lawyer fees. The service uses statistical and machine learning techniques like deep learning to understand legal language. The ai compares the user’s uploaded contract with other contracts to identify responsibilities, rights, and terms, and then re-writes this language in easy-to-understand terms.
Crystal is an amazing program that helps you write emails that are hand-tailored to the unique personality of the person you’re addressing. The AI scrapes all the available data from the web that it can find about an individual (drawing from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more). Using a combination of psychological frameworks, including Myers-Briggs personality analysis, Crystal makes easy-to-follow suggestions about whether you should be informal, direct, open with a bit of small talk, or use philosophical metaphors in your message in order to best engage that person.
Artificial intelligence can be a big or small piece of a well-designed financial service experience. Eva, for example, is just one layer over an existing network of banking services. Wallet.ai, on the other hand, is a financial counseling service completely built on artificially intelligent analysis.
Think about the emotional journey of a customer using financial services. At what points in the process might a user feel fear, insecurity or doubt? These moments are some of the best opportunities to provide a human-esque touch of attentiveness, interaction and care. How might we use the human-like formats of conversation, observation and judgment to make financial services more accessible, more useful, more fun, and more supportive of people’s needs?
We hope these examples will get you inspired for the Artificially Enhanced Banking Crowdstorm, which runs until July 5th.