Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

A Little Intelligence On Artificial Intelligence

A few months back, I shared my first audio post.  It was incredibly well received.  In that I enjoyed it and other people (probably) listened to it.  With such a successful start, how could I go wrong returning to the medium?

I read a lot of industry publications.  Probably too many.  But that means a win for you, my reader, since you glean the best of that time spent!  If trending articles don’t mention Millennials or how to maximize your social media presence, they’re discussing the brave new world of AI, Artificial Intelligence.  Even on my blog, the 2nd most popular post is about AI.  Here’s the degree of impact it stands to make for the industry: Everything you research or decide with a person will be done, faster, more reliably, with a computer system.  So, a big deal.

We’re not talking T-1000s in your branches (though they would be formidable security guards).  Nor does it have anything to do with the AI advances you hear Elon Musk warning us against.  For financial institutions, AI is simply a software system that can dive into a ton of data (that you already have) and make accurate risk and other determinations.  It’s nothing new for your credit union, only doing the same thing better and faster.  While serving your members anywhere, on their terms.

Of course, since this is an audio post, stop reading and just push play!

If, after listening, you have more questions about AI (which you should), feel free to leave them in the comments below or contact me directly.  I can provide a number of references to companies doing all of these things today within the financial world.  Are they a fit for your institution?  That’s for you to decide.  But I will say one thing with certainty: AI technologies will become the de-facto determination platforms for most company decisions in the near future.

PS – AI isn’t just for financial institutions.  It’s going beyond and helping serve the unbanked around the world.  Here’s an example of a company seeking to provide credit for the developing world.  Their system uses 10,000 data points on each person, collected by their phone app only (texts, contacts, and much more) to determine if they are credit worthy in 10 minutes or less.  No credit bureau, no credit risk agent, nothing.  Can your credit union do that?  Because if not, there’s an AI tech which might be a fit (Disclosure: I’ve interacted with one of their team members).

Image credit: Giphy (Terminator 2, but you, an honorable geek, already knew that!)

3 Comments

  1. Interesting stuff, Joe! AI driven applications and functionality in consumer tech do indeed seem to be irrevocably on the rise, but adoption rates amongst the general public seem slower than the mainstream media would seem to want us to believe. PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey recently confirmed that (in the UK at least) only 17% currently own an AI device, only 26% are planning to buy one soon and nearly 60% say they have currently no interest in owning one; the article on it PwC blog made our curation list for the topic earlier this month. Be curious to see if the trend starts to reverse if trust improves slowly over time, perhaps backed up by publicised use in other sectors.

    • Thank you for sharing. The stats you mention are interesting in that they are entirely wrong. Every modern smartphone is an “AI device”. Facebook is an “AI device”. Even some cars are “AI devices”. That’s where the greatest challenge lies: in presenting a rapidly-changing and evolving topic to a world which is simply not prepared to understand nor grasp the impacts it will have across all areas of life. In reality, adoption rates of AI tech is, if anything, far higher than people would guess. We’re acclimated to think of AI as HAL/Terminator/Johnny Five or even as Alexa or Siri, yet the latter are just one aspect of intelligent computing (and probably the “dumbest” of them). Eventually, everything will be determined by learning software, from how your vehicle manages charging to the route your data takes on the internet (barring the issues losing Net Neutrality puts on that).

      People may claim they don’t trust AI devices, yet the predictive text on their phone’s keyboard is curiously good, the routing in their mapping software seems to get them to the destination efficiently, and Siri even seems to understand what they are saying more often than not. That’s all “AI” and the trust is already there; they just don’t realize it.

      • That’s very true Joe – PwC are classifying “home AI devices” in the context of their figures as home robots or personal assistants like Alexa, which of course doesn’t take into account the enormous amounts of AI/ML tech present in more or less everything these days (predictive text indeed being a classic example)! So probably more a question of what the general public perceives as “AI powered” vs what in reality is actually driven by a learning algorithm of some shape or another.

        We’re on a hunt to find people to offer additional insights on our newsletters and reports which collate the latest news in particular sectors (using…you guessed it…machine learning tech), including the one for our Future of AI e-shot – don’t suppose this is something you’d potentially be interested in?

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