Opinion  

How advisers are preparing for AI

Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver

"We're working on AI because we think more intelligent services will be much more useful for you to use." - Mark Zuckerberg 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to help run financial advisory firms may sound like something that is straight out of a science fiction novel but the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft are spearheading AI.

Therefore, the world of financial advisers is likely to be the latest in a series of industries to be affected by its rise.

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According to a Deloitte report, the impact of cognitive technologies on organisations is expected to grow substantially within the next three to five years.

Add to this the Google prediction that by 2029 robots will achieve human intelligence levels and that by 2025, 33 per cent of all occupations will be performed by robots and it soon becomes apparent that AI has already shifted into the mainstream.

There is no doubt that disruptive technology is turning the Financial Advisers’ relationship with clients on its head.

Advances in mobile technology are shaking up traditional methods of communication and clients are engaging more with their smartphones and expecting fast service responses from their chosen advisers anytime, anywhere.

It’s time to rethink client services and this is where AI comes in as there are so many things that a machine can do better and more efficiently than a human.

Thanks to developments in personalisation and human interaction, AI is already efficiently working behind the scenes in basic text question and answer chats to provide a service that is much less expensive for companies.

According to Gartner, Intelligent Apps, which include technologies such as virtual personal assistants, have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier and its users more effective. In day-to-day terms, this could take the form of prioritising emails and highlighting important content and interactions.

We have already begun to build AI into our web, mobile and connected-device Apps using the next generation technology platform, Amazon Lex.

Our pioneering development team will be trialing Amazon Lex’s speech recognition and natural language understanding capabilities with the potential to build an entirely new generation of Apps that have human-like intelligence and can see, hear, speak, understand and interact with the world around them.

The potential to add a voice or text chat interface to create bots on mobile devices that can help with basic tasks is set to transform how advisers respond to customer requests and make them more productive. 

AI is an exciting prospect as it will make it possible to effectively add another member to the team that is available 24 - 7 to answer multiple questions and carry out simple tasks. This ‘virtual’ member of staff will help to retain trusted adviser status by appearing to be available at all times.