An exclusive event for leaders in Finance and Insurance in the heart of the City
On 28th January, 50 senior leaders in financial services joined DisruptionHub in Canary Wharf for an evening with Dr Ronald Ashri – one of Europe’s leading experts in AI and the Future of Work. Their purpose? To explore the benefits of Conversational AI in the finance and insurance industries.
With representatives from established organisations and challenger brands across the spectrum of financial services, there were many common opportunities – and challenges – to discuss. So what does the future of Conversational AI look like in financial services? What purpose does this groundbreaking technology serve, and what are some of the most important considerations in its implementation?
AI’ll be the judge of that
Dr Ronald Ashri, Co-Founder and CTO of GreenShoot Labs, kicked the evening off with a presentation on the principles of Conversational AI. A practical definition of AI revolves around the ability to delegate decisions and carry out tasks – with the conversational aspect of the technology stemming from the way users interact with its applications.
More important than how the technology works, is what capabilities it enables, and therefore what benefits it can offer to business. Here, Dr Ashri was careful to emphasise that no company directly needs Conversational AI. What they need is to offer customers what they want, to be efficient, and differentiate themselves from the competition. The question is, does Conversational AI provide a better way of achieving this?
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Although it is by no means a miracle solution, Conversational AI enables companies to build the automation platforms they need to remain competitive today. By delivering better services at reduced cost, and gaining a greater understanding of their clients’ needs, they can not only grasp present opportunities but more easily navigate challenges as they evolve.
What’s more, conversational applications – such as messaging apps – are attracting ever increasing numbers of global users. With 5.8 billion active users across the top eight messaging apps, and Millennials and Gen Zs worldwide overwhelmingly opting for digital over real life interactions – this is truly where the world is going… If companies want to optimise access to their consumer base, then it is where they need to be.
The big questions
However, implementing innovative new technologies is never an easy process. There are many factors for companies to consider when embarking on digital transformation, including cost, the availability of relevant data, and whether or not new technology will really make a difference to customers or business operations.
These kinds of questions are often best explored through collaborative conversation, so after closing his presentation with an examination of best strategies for Conversational AI implementation in financial services, Dr Ashri handed proceedings over to Tim Deeson, Co-Founder of GreenShoot Labs.
In a nuanced panel discussion, Deeson asked Kate Bohn – Incubator & Accelerator Lead at Lloyds Banking Group, and Guy Farley – CTO and Co-Founder of Bought By Many, to detail their experiences in implementing disruptive technologies, and how they believe Conversational AI can be used to create business value.
Particularly important in the financial services industry, with its regulations and compliance procedures, is the concept of risk when it comes to disruptive technology. Attendees were therefore encouraged to consider the level of risk their company is comfortable with when undertaking digital transformation.
Equally necessary is the need to engage all senior decision-makers in these projects, and to communicate in a way that all parties understand. If you decide to take on an “experiment” in Conversational AI, for example, is everyone clear on what this means in practice?
Strategise and start small
For Ashri, the conversations throughout the evening made it clear that there is a lot of interest and excitement about the opportunities offered by Conversational AI. For any company considering it as a solution, his advice would therefore be to take a strategic approach – namely, by creating a long term vision that starts with small steps.
“It was great to see that the GreenShoot Labs way of defining strategy and tactics resonated and gave participants a useful framework through which to consider their next steps,” he says. “We look forward to continuing these discussions and helping organisations make the best of Conversational AI.”
Whether in AI, or any digital transformation project, establishing a thorough strategy and starting small is pretty sage advice.
Conversational AI in Financial Services was attended by organisations including: Aviva, Barclays, Bought By Many, BNP Paribas, Clifford Chance, Confused.com, Credit Suisse, Credo Wealth, Deutsche Bank, Dinghy, Dunedin, Funding Circle, Google, Legal & General, Lloyds Banking Group, London Stock Exchange Group, MS Amlin, NutMeg, TaxCalc.
Are you a senior leader in financial services? Disruption Summit Finance is coming to London on 16th June 2020. Find out more here.