Far from replacing people, AI works better when it complements the work that your staff is doing.
July 25, 2018
by Sid Probstein, CTO & VP ProfessionaL Services
In 1997, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov sat down to play two games of chess against IBM’s super-computer “Deep Blue”. 12 years earlier, Kasparov had played 32 computers simultaneously and won convincingly, but technology moves fast and Deep Blue overwhelmed Kasparov through its ability to analyze over 200 million positions per second.
It was a seminal moment in humanity’s story and foreshadowed how intelligent machines would come to be a part of everyday life. Yet Kasparov did not see this development as detrimental to humanity, but rather as a chance for humans to become more ambitious in what they can achieve.
Speaking at a TED talk in 2017, he explained how “Our technology excels at removing difficulties and uncertainties from our lives, and so we must seek out ever more difficult, ever more uncertain challenges. Machines have calculations. We have understanding. Machines have instructions. We have purpose. Machines have objectivity. We have passion.”
The Gathering Impact of AI
At this moment in time, it feels impossible to overstate the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on the financial industry in the coming years. The potential is nothing short of revolutionary, as the convergence of big data, cloud computing, distributed applications and mobile computing come together to offer previously unimaginable breakthroughs.
Too often, we react with fear at these developments. We worry about lost jobs, soulless processes and machines running amok. But, in Kasparov’s words, “don’t fear intelligent machines. Work with them.”
A well-trained workforce at ease with AI is a formidable asset for any organization.
The Value Of Employees Working With Technology
In working with the banking and mortgage lending sector of the economy, AI Foundry deploys sophisticated automation tools with great effect on documents that can frequently run to hundreds of pages. Capture and smart storage of documents is the kind of task that is ripe for disruption via smart, automated, repeatable processes that can save hundreds of hours. Yet, inevitably, there are multiple exceptions that can occur and trip up the process, leading to flawed data. This is where human judgement and problem-solving become invaluable, and skilled, motivated staff are vital when it comes to handling these exceptions.
“AI allows the effective analysis of huge data sets to quickly provide insights that wouldn't be possible just through human judgement” explains AnalytixInsight. But that analysis on it’s own is worthless if it is not handed on to employees who can act on the insights in creative and timely ways. Again, it’s the merging of human and AI that is making the process more efficient.
Clara Shih, the founder of SaaS marketing platform Hearsay, explains it in another way. “By gathering cleaner, more complete data, firms can more accurately leverage machine learning to trigger advisors to connect with contacts at the right time, with the right message, on the right channel.”
The technology sets up the advisors to make the right kind of person-to-person contact and that’s vital. Consumers like to know that there are big data algorithms churning in the background, but they still want to deal with people who share the same values and problems that they do on a day-to-day basis.
The most important feature of financial AI is its ability to process large volumes of data, something that people will simply never be able to do to the same degree. Artificial intelligence can identify patterns that a human would almost certainly miss and recommend strategies based upon them via analytics that simplify the results. The key to making this strategy work is to have systems that produce reliable data, that is processed in real-time, and that propels strategic decision-making.
A Human In The Loop
By taking on the bulk of the processing work, machines free up the employees to do the creative thinking and to add value in ways that they may not have had the time to do before. “The most successful advisors are leveraging digital for one-to-one communication – personal email, text, and phone calls – to engage clients quickly during key money-in-motion events,” says Clara Shih.
What it ultimately comes down to is a sophisticated dance between the human and mechanical elements of the back-office. All the elements must combine to set up a situation where the company representatives can monitor closely, and provide timely input and make interventions that add value to the client and the firm.
The ways that this is done vary from company to company, but as long as the data is trusted and accurate, then it should result in a win-win for all involved.
As companies get better and better at doing this, we can expect more innovation and a faster pace of change. While it can feel overwhelming at times, it’s a process that could help banks, fintech firms and mortgage lenders achieve an efficiency that they previously thought was impossible.
As the chess grandmaster said after his defeat by a computer;
“We should not worry about what our machines can do today. Instead, we should worry about what they still cannot do today, because we will need the help of the new, intelligent machines to turn our grandest dreams into reality.”
Get in touch for more information on how AI Foundry helps firms manage data and deliver actionable intelligence, visit our website today.