Financial firms bank on A.I. as pilot projects head to production

The financial services sector is pouring money into artificial intelligence (AI), with banks, for example, expected to spend $5.6 billion on AI in 2019 – second only to the retail sector.

Until now, the vast majority of AI projects have remained pilots, and in many cases those projects led to tech deployments without a clear business use.

Simply put, it’s been trendy.

Most AI projects today are aimed at improving customer service efficiency and security by introducing chatbot technology, or by deploying machine-based learning to uncover trends across business lines in customer behavior and what they need.

“It’s about ensuring banks are able to retain the memory of a customer’s journey across bank services,” said Sankar Narayanan, chief practice officer at Indian analytics service provider Fractal Analytics.

Initial systems aimed at fundamental issues

As those test projects mature, there’s a sea change coming, according to Narayanan,  and beginning this year companies are expected to start rolling out production systems. At first, they’ll be focused on solving fundamental problems, such as customer relationship management through conversational chatbots that have advanced in their capabilities.

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