Meet the Chatbots That Might Manage Your Money One Day



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Rob Wilson

When it comes to banking and finance, chatbots are everywhere. In the future, they’ll be doing more than answering your questions and providing phone numbers, according to people who work in artificial intelligence.



Illustration:

Rob Wilson

Chatbots will be more proactive, says Zor Gorelov, chief executive of Kasisto, a company creating conversational AI for banking and finance clients. They’ll be able to anticipate individuals’ needs and offer advice before users even ask a question, though there is still a long way to go before many of these features become a reality.



Illustration:

Rob Wilson

Instead of pointing you to a resource such as a phone line or FAQ page, chatbots could one day be resources themselves, able to offer highly personalized responses to individual questions and scenarios.



Illustration:

Rob Wilson

Daria Zabój, product marketer at ChatBot, an AI software developer, says chatbots will be able to analyze investment questions, such as whether to invest in gold or bitcoin, in real time. At Chatbot, products like Cleo and the Covid-19 Risk Assessment Chatbot already take questions and process them to offer limited advice, but Ms. Zabój says that tools like this need more years of practice and thousands more conversations to improve their personalized instruction.



Illustration:

Rob Wilson

Fidelity Investments imagines a world of virtual assistants that will greatly reduce the need for clients to call and speak to a person. Decades from now—or years, depending on how quickly the tech advances—a bot like this could evaluate itself on task completion by better perceiving what an individual wants from an interaction.



Illustration:

Rob Wilson

Chatbots may become more lifelike by incorporating audio and humanlike forms. As augmented reality grows in popularity, users may want to invite the chatbots into their physical environments. This way, individuals could try out consumer products or ask for advice from a chatbot that answers their questions via voice assistant or computer-designed avatars.



Illustration:

Rob Wilson

As these chatbot experiments go mainstream, however, Ms. Zabój predicts some users will want companies to ask for their input on what feels too lifelike.

More people have to use chatbots to build better databases of chats and improve the bots, says Szymon Klimczak, chief marketing officer of LiveChat, ChatBot’s parent company. “As of now, all these scenarios are still very basic because the industry is still very young,” he says.

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Write to Julia Carpenter at [email protected]

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