In 1997, a game of chess changed the face of Artificial Intelligence. Chess legend Garry Kasparov was defeated by the IBM supercomputer, Deep Blue. Fast forward 20 years, Google’s AlphaGo Artificial Intelligence has defeated the world’s best Go player and Microsoft Artificial Intelligence achieves a perfect score in a game of Ms. Pac Man. The former is often termed as the world’s most difficult strategy game, while the latter is a timeless classic in which no human has achieved the perfect score. For Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve the mentioned feats shows the path computing has traversed from logic to feats based on pattern recognition, inference and reasoning. Coined in the 1950’s, Artificial Intelligence has come a long way as a discipline. Today the things AI can do has transcended human expectations. And we are just beginning. 90% of the data in the world was generated in the last two years, and now we are adding about 2.5 quintillion bytes to it every day. With such humungous data, it was all but inevitable that we develop intelligent systems which work on the data at extremely high speeds.
Today, AI can develop systems which are capable of performing tasks which surpass human abilities. From Robotics and Manufacturing, AI has now permeated into fields like Legal and Banking and Financial Services Industry (BFSI), which have primarily been dependant on humans. BFSI has increasingly become more competitive, with majority of the business driving on margins, yet at the same time making their mark as an innovative institution. There are many processes in the BFSI sector which are now making use of Artificial Intelligence.
With the increasing risk of fraudulent practices in the financial system, there has been a growing concern to outsmart the perpetrators. Banks and financial services are increasingly adopting Artificial Intelligence systems over softwares designed on rule basis. Artificial Intelligence systems have been proven to be more intelligent and robust when detecting anti-money laundering patterns. With increasingly available data to create patterns the Artificial Intelligence systems will go on to be more predictive and hence preventive. Artificial Intelligence will make anti-money laundering as prognosis measure from a diagnostic one.
An automated response from a helpdesk without human interventions is a result of yet another application of Artificial Intelligence – the Chat Bots. The chat bots produce response based on the pattern the bots devised on the queries which are fed to them. The bots have gained enough intelligence to detect human emotions and the context of conversations, and reply accordingly. They are able to maintain the balance between ‘right’ and ‘close to human’ answers. These Chat Bots will keep on collecting massive amount of data over time to be even more accurate in replicating their human responses. The roots of Chat Bot can be found in the famous ‘Turing Test’ devised way back in 1950. There are many banks and financial institutions which are already gearing up to use such services for improving the experiences of their customers. Chat Bots have the advantage of analysing customers’ previous experiences and improving upon them.
Recommendation Engines - a contribution of Artificial Intelligence in the BFSI industry takes data analysis of the customers to recommend targeted products to a whole new level. The quick nature of AI systems in quick cross-selling of products can be used to change the recommendations in real time, based on the consumers’ changing interests. They can also be used to perform real time competitive analysis to offer customers the best possible solutions.
There is too much information and not enough manpower and talent to manage it. It’s becoming more and more impossible to keep up with this ever-growing demand. How do we solve this? The answer is Cognitive Computing, a subfield under AI. Cognitive computing is a powerful beast; it refers to computing that is focused on logical reasoning and understanding at a higher level, helping make high-level decisions in complex situations. This is designed to solve a wide range of problems, enhance efficiency and increase productivity. AI is at the pinnacle of digital transformation and will have a profound impact on our society and will transform our personal and professional lives. There is no denying that AI systems are powerful and like with all powerful tools, great care must be taken in their deployment. AI is the future of every industry. Industry experts already understand that cognitive computing is going to be a major disrupter. Whether we choose to embrace it to our advantage or not is probably going to determine how various sectors of the industry performs and survives going forward.
Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, grow and disrupt our way of life. We will be a Don Quixote to think otherwise. We are entering a new era of technology which will be change the way we see the world. Artificial Intelligence will change what was once the distant future into our current reality. For the BFSI industry to be profitable and relevant, we should be ready to embrace it.
About the Author:
Devendra Kumar Vyas is CEO at Srei.