When we talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI), conversations turn to chatbots, smart speakers that provide information in a conversational tone, cars that can locate pedestrians and park alone or science fiction movies and books. These topics are captivating, no doubt, but for many companies, the reality of artificial intelligence and machine learning has a different face – one that has changed the way we do business.
In fact, artificial intelligence has been used by corporate finance departments for years for automation, invoice processing, optimizing costs and workflows and improving the overall efficiency of business processes. Most recently, the financial technology or more commonly known as the ‘fintech’ space has discovered that applied artificial intelligence means endless possibilities for their business.
Before the appearance of the AI in financial departments, accountants opened envelopes one by one, which contained paper invoices and purchase orders or delivery. Information was manually entered into their accounting system and passed on to the managers for approval and payment. A similar experience awaited the suppliers of this company.
Today’s automated systems are used to processing large volumes of invoices, whether paper or electronic. Software is able to read, analyze contents, track, locate, and more.
These expert systems can even learn from their successes and their mistakes and detect fraud faster and cheaper than most workforces. The latest generation of dematerialization software is already able to compare new invoices with old ones, automate their input, suggest imputations and decide by itself whether a document should be classified by certain categories or whether it should be reported for verification.
This software has, in recent years, become accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises in various industries, mainly in the financial technology space. Some of the leading innovations in the fintech space have been discovered by the use of artificial intelligence and its counterpart, machine learning.
Consumers love personalized experiences. With the use of AI businesses can gather more information on consumer behavior, all the while lowering the threshold for mistakes and costs slipping through the cracks. This results in easier operations for finance businesses and reduced process times.
These trends, along with others, have transformed the financial tech space over the last few years. No one can deny the benefits of AI whether it be increased security, reducing “human” errors or offering unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and data curation. As well as businesses, investors have realized the potential that machine learning and artificial intelligence represent for Fintech.
“Robo-advisors are upending the investment landscape, with AI-powered platforms automating asset management. Introduction of robo-advisors almost entirely eliminates financial advisors from the investing process. Investors no longer have to be uber wealthy or pay hefty fees for something they might not want or need,” as stated on Banking Tech in an article by FinTech Futures.
We have just scratched the surface of the potential that AI can bring to document processing, knowledge management, information gathering and automation. Imagine, for a moment, a more seamless interface for consumer-facing products brought by expert AI-backed systems. The possibilities of AI are endless and the economic impact will continue as software evolution disrupts the workforce in a revolutionary way.