Robo-advice  

Wealth Wizards developing talking robo-adviser

Wealth Wizards developing talking robo-adviser

Wealth Wizards has said it is working on technology that would allow robo-advisers to speak to clients.

Peet Denny, chief technology officer at Wealth Wizards, said he thought the company could provider a better alternative to clients filling in a form online and then being sent a PDF.

He said: "Chatbots are the obvious place to start. But for me they are the stepping stone on the way to the main event, which is speech.

"What we want is an adviser we can speak to at any time of the day and is the best adviser in the UK, and there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to do that in the next couple of years.

"Speech is not there yet but it is getting there and we are preparing for when it has arrived."

Mr Denny said Wealth Wizards had been using the speech-to-text function of Google to listen to what happens when advisers talk to their clients to learn what words and phrases a talking robo-adviser would need.

He said the company is developing a computer programme that could listen to conversations between an adviser and a client and understand which product they were talking about and what issues they would have to discuss.

Mr Denny said this could help the adviser by prompting them to discuss certain topics.

He said: "The computer has its presence in the conversation and is helping the adviser in the background. I think this is a stepping stone to using this technology in a completely hands-off way.

"We can make human advisers better at what they do and we think this is going to allow voice to become the standard way of interacting with your adviser."

Looking further into the future, Mr Denny said there were already programmes which could read a person's emotions by measuring the movement between parts of their face.

If this was integrated into a robo-adviser, Mr Denny said it would help it to understand whether the client was feeling nervous, excited or curious.

Wealth Wizards, which is majority owned by LV, recently launched a new artificial intelligence service called Turo which learns how advisers serve their clients and replicates that house view.

The white-labelled system learns which factors a particular advice firm emphasises when it gives advice and follows that after examining a sample of the business's past work.

damian.fantato@ft.com