People, Money and Artificial Intelligence

Fiona Couper



When it comes to the future of financial services, our money is on Artificial Intelligence (AI). But AI isn’t just something to look forward to. It’s already here, crunching data, retrieving documents, spotting patterns and making predictions to help with fraud detection, credit risk management for lending, and in automating previously tedious and time-consuming tasks. For example, JPMorgan Chase has been successfully using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for a while now, to comply with Know Your Customer regulations.
In banking, AI powers the smart chatbots that provide customer support, while intelligent mobile apps help to manage our personal finances, tracking income and spending and giving budgeting tips, guiding us through the investment process and reminding us to pay our bills.
In the meantime, appreciation of the ethical considerations around the use of AI has been growing, culminating in the development of a set of ‘Trustworthy AI’ principles by the EU Commission, with similar principles adopted by the OECD’s 36 member countries, along with Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Romania. Ethical issues are also being explored by the UK’s newly created Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI).
The seven central principles of Trustworthy AI comprise:
• Championing human agency and oversight
• Robustness and safety
• Privacy and data governance
• Transparency
• Non-discrimination
• Societal and environmental well-being
• Accountability
AI can write pop songs and play chess, but it can’t yet provide a complete planning and advice service that’s anything close to that provided by a human financial adviser. But we are entering a world of Open Banking, in which multiple providers can be aggregated into a single command-and-control interface and smart, connected devices that can talk to each other as well as to us. At the same time, new research into how our brains work at a structural level, is driving a whole new field of ‘Deep Mind’ innovation, to enable AI to learn as it grows. This means that in the future, we are likely to be able to manage our finances via a voice-activated, digital assistant,
with not only new capabilities but more human qualities than we see today.
She (and she will invariably be a woman) won’t just be there to carry out transactions and tasks, guide us through financial decisions, manage and monitor our spending and measure our progress towards our goals. Rather, she’ll be our financial ‘self’, with whatever personality we ascribe to her and a calm, capable, reassuring presence in our lives.
So where will that leave us, not just as financial consumers, but as individuals? And how will we feel and behave when one of our most trusted counsellors and confidantes is a machine?
We can find some of the answers to this, by looking to Behavioural Neuroscience and how our brain chemistry influences our emotions and behaviours. In fact, the early Artificial Neural Networks, the precursor to today’s AI, were based on how our brains are wired and how we process information.
Here at Teamspirit, we have developed a five-part framework, to map out the key stages of an interaction and explore the role of Behavioural Neuroscience at each stage. This works equally for a single conversation or piece
of communication, or a longer, phased, decision-making process. Using this framework, we looked at how effective communicators are more trustworthy and engaging, make complex information easier to understand, inspire
confidence and motivate people to act.
But if the communicator is a machine and its responses have been pre-programmed (given that fully conscious AI is still some way off), does this framework still apply? The answer is yes – and it provides some useful guidance for how financial services consumers, as humans, can embrace AI as an opportunity, not a threat, and allow it to empower rather than diminish our sense of self and personal identity.
Please download the PDF document as Teamspirit explore the five levers of Behavioural Neuroscience:

  • Empathy: to build trust and rapport
  • Engagement: to create interest and involvement
  • Understanding: to convey complex information
  • Confidence: to feel comfortable to proceed
  • Motivation: to inspire decisive action
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