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Collaboration will drive AI for credit unions

Technology expert John Best provided an overview of the potential that artificial intelligence (AI) holds for credit unions during a general session at the CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council Conference in Chicago.

Best says the long-held vision of AI is a robot that performs virtually all our day-to-day duties, but in the immediate future, AI applications will act as our assistants.

“Tomorrow’s AI revolution will grow from today’s technology,” he says. “We’re going to have applications in place that take what we do today and do it better.”

Whether employees are in the call center or accounting, they’ll have AI that will assist them with their everyday duties, he says.

The driver of that revolution will be data, he says. An example of an AI application that is driven by data is Apple’s intelligent assistant Siri, which answers voice queries based on billions of data points. Best notes that the more questions Siri receives, the more powerful its database becomes. “Siri is slowly getting smarter and smarter and smarter,” Best says. “It’s a function of the data.”

Collaboration is the optimal opportunity for credit unions in this environment, Best says. “You can’t out-Google Google,” he says. “You won’t out-Apple Apple. But as a collaborative group you can destroy them, because this technology is handmade for collaboration. Your data together is far more powerful than your data separately.”

Best says the user experience is changing. As consumers become more familiar with AI, they will make transactions through voice assistants from virtually anywhere. He showed a video in which a customer booked a hair appointment through a voice assistant that was virtually indistinguishable from a real person.

“Everybody will have an assistant,” Best says. You won’t be competing for top of wallet but to be the top assistant, he adds.

Best says financial institutions are already making big bets on AI.  “It’s already happening, but it’s not just the JPMorgans that can do it,” he says. “As a collaborative group you can do it too.”

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