Artificial intelligence isn’t just for the movies anymore. While the thought of it might immediately bring us to visions of an evil scientist building a robot in his underground lair in every sci-fi action film ever made, AI is being used in many industries and is no longer the property of fictional villains.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, financial services are among the leading sectors in adopting AI technology.
As it stands, however, this adoption is staying in the realm of financial data analysis, and hasn’t necessarily made its way to the mainstream credit card customer. As explained by Crystal Kim for Barron’s,
“Could AI one day bring about better financial education, empowerment, equalizing access to and opportunities for individualized advice? Probably. But right now, most financial firms are focusing their initial efforts around cost savings - for themselves.”
Basically, AI is present. But it’s not yet doing everything it can, and with good reason: it’s incredibly difficult to design AI that can act with the nuanced behaviour of human decision-making. Kim is wary of the “buzzword” quality associated with AI, however, reminding us that, “Artificial Intelligence processes can be as unique as the people building them.”
While all of this is absolutely true and we do agree that it’s important to remain wary of both the positive and negative potential outcomes of technology, we’re optimistic.
As seen on the graph, the retail industry seems to be right in between falling behind and leading when it comes to adopting AI technologies as part of its practice. To us, this middleground represents a lot of room for improvement.
Customers’ high branding-related expectations mean the in-store experience is more important than ever. AI can be used to create an individualized brick-and-mortar shopping experience that cannot be matched by Amazon’s recommendation algorithms. As presence marketers, we’re very excited to see where this goes. Imagine AI that can change digital store displays when you walk by them based on your personal preferences. AI can create or predict customer needs in real-time whether they’re standing in front of a large screen or looking at their phones. Our digital signage already aims to do this, but AI can help us narrow down segments and consider the needs of each individual equally.