AI isn't one thing

The way to frame the AI opportunity for your institution

The army of talent available to you

There’s a tendency to think about AI as one thing, Like a giant monolith. Spectacles like IBM’s Deep Blue chess victory and the later Watson Jeopardy challenge did a lot to reinforce that.

But from a practical standpoint, a better framework might be that of the lonely intern.

Think of the summer intern. They show up at your office for two or three months between freshman and junior years. They are earnest, energetic, and literate. But they don’t have any context about your business, your customers, or how your industry operates.

In short, they lack the context, experience, and judgment of your more senior employees.

You can give them reading assignments, like analyst reports, trade association papers, or your competitor’s literature. They will do a perfectly competent job of summarizing, analyzing, and tying together the key points. However, the synthesis that is required is often missing.

Now imagine you had not one or two or a handful of interns but a whole army of them. Hundreds that could work together in a coordinated fashion without a lot of overhead or friction. Imagine being able to command this army the same way that you would a single intern.

What tasks would you give them?

You could assign 10 of them to every teller at your branches, looking up customer-specific information, performing fraud prevention tasks, calculating the likelihood that the customer at the window is in the market for a new credit card or considering a new home.

If all that work could be done automatically, and a prioritized recommendation made to the person servicing that customer, would that lead to better service?

If you could do that hundreds of times a day, not just in person but for all your touch-points, and measure the effectiveness of that experience, would your perceived service level improve?

Could you stand out on that?

This thought exercise is a first step to understanding AI’s potential for community-based banking. When service is core to your value, not a cost to be stripped away, your potential to stand out and provide a radically relevant customer experience is unmatched in the market.

If this post has inspired some ideas, reach out. We have over a decade of experience in developing and executing data and ML driven use cases for financial institutions. We’d love to give you practical feedback and best-of-breed examples to help you succeed.

We’re launching a new podcast by and for Community Banking Leaders. It’s called Behind the Vault: Conversations with Customer-Driven Bankers. If you or someone at your institution would like to be highlighted and share your story, apply here ->

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