A look into the future: Artificial Intelligence in finance

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Stijn Jaques

Stijn Jaques


“We don’t drink coffee, we take tea, my dear. We like our toast done on one side. And you can hear it in our accent when we talk. We are Belgians in … London?!” Hello London!

Deep learning conference in finance and retail

London, the place to be in Europe when you want to attend conferences that discuss the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning in finance and retail. 4C’s extreme insights team was represented at the deep learning summit in finance and retail in London (RE-WORK conference). The summit brought together big high-tech companies (Amazon, IBM), big retail and financial companies (Tesco, Zalando, ASOS, Citi) and promising start-ups. So of course, 4C needed to be there as well!

TellMi, 4C’s AI platform

What is 4C doing at a conference about AI and deep learning? Well, 2015 and 2016 were years of inspiration for the extreme insights team. In 2015, we already investigated the additional value of innovative techniques in building customer companies (Blog: “Innovative techniques under the loop”). Text mining and deep learning (AI) caught our attention. We have noticed that companies struggle to use the full potential of customer feedback.

But isn’t that essential data to become a true customer company? To help companies with this struggle, TellMi was born in 2016. TellMi is 4C’s Artificial Intelligence platform. It helps companies to gain actionable insights from all kinds of unstructured data (customer feedback, customer questions, emails, …) to improve 360° actionable view of customers. This year, we want to get inspired about innovative ideas, techniques and methodologies to improve our new and existing services like TellMi, next best offer, stock optimization and stock forecasting, …

AI to improve customer experience in finance

If you are somebody from a financial company reading this blog and yet you don’t have hundreds of deep learning models running in the backend of the organization, don’t start to panic. Deep learning is slowly making its way into the financial world. People are still researching the advantages and disadvantages of these types of models. Not many of them are already in full production.

During the conference, the main focus of deep learning in finance was on predicting stock markets and trading. Only a few presentations had a customer focus and showed how deep learning will improve the customer experience for bank and insurance companies by automating and improving processes. Let’s show this via 2 examples:

  • Are you sometimes feeling the need to have an overview and control over your bank account? But unfortunately, you don’t find time or courage to start? Then you will probably adore deep learning because it offers you your personal financial coach! The financial coach is like talking to your bank account: Do you have questions about your spending behavior? Simply ask your financial coach and it will show you a graph with your main spending categories. Did you spend more than expected? Ask your financial coach for more insights. Did you receive your salary? The financial coach will pop up and tell you. It can show the overall balance per month and help you how to improve to economize.

  • In a digital world, people prefer to use the internet to search for product information. For complex products, like insurance products, people are overwhelmed with product information. Often, they are not familiar with insurance concepts / vocabulary and they end up being more confused than at the start of their product search. A smart chatbot can help people by asking smart questions and proposing optimal insurance products for customers. The chatbot adjusts its way of communicating based on the available CRM data. For example, the chatbot will use teenage slang towards a teenager. Towards a 60-year-old customer, however, it will not start the conversation with ‘Yo what’s up’ (unless it’s a real hipster-granny maybe).

AI, the good, the bad and the ugly

There is no doubt, AI is no longer a buzzword anymore. It will change our world completely. AI will help to increase our productivity, it will create 24/7 available services and offer us optimal customized solutions. We should really be optimistic about those changes, but don’t be naïve. It’s not going to be a smooth ride in many areas! Repetitive and linear jobs can be automated, rogue players will attempt to use AI for malignant purposes. It’s going to be a bumpy ride we absolutely need to conquer. Fasten your seatbelts, are you ready to jump in the AI car?

If you have questions how you can use deep learning models in your organization to improve the customer experience, get in touch to discuss how we can assist you!

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