Friday Fun: AI is the Best thing Since Big Data

Note: I wanted to call this post, Frid-AI Fun, but visually, “Frid-AI” (sound it out) doesn’t really work as well as I thought it would. So we’ll just skip the “clever” headline and get right to it.


As a semi-active analyst, full-time fintech advisor, and dormant engineer, I could not be happier with the rise of the term artificial intelligence or AI as it is mostly written these days. And the term is not as new as you might think. Spielberg released a movie with the name 16 years ago (see inset). And the term is at least 62 years old, having been studied at Dartmouth in 1955/1956. But it went mainstream this century, especially the past few years (see search activity below).

It is a clever rebrand of a fairly mainstream process, the creation of computerized algorithms. It’s one of the hottest phrases in fintech history, second only to Big Data. For what it’s worth, the Internet still gives “big data” the nod ahead of “artificial intelligence,” 68 million Google results to 44 million, but I’m guessing AI pulls ahead soon. Banks are creating AI teams, fintech bloggers are using it headlines (Finovate, Financial Brand), and conference organizers are creating keynote sessions around it.

Google trends for the search term AI (16 June 2017)

Bottom line: I predict a long, long run for the phrase AI, so you might as well come to terms with it. Add it to your website, job description, or your team’s mission. You’ll be glad you did when the robot overlords come to evaluate your organizational value.

Author: Jim Bruene is Founder & Senior Advisor to Finovate as well as
Principal of BUX Advisors, a financial services user-experience consultancy. 

Video of the Week: Bank of America Demos AI Chatbot “Erica”

Via a chatbot named Erica, Bank of America this week demo’d its upcoming mobile AI capabilities. The feature will be available to the 21 million users of its mobile app via voice or text commands “in late 2017.” While it’s unusual for a major bank to discuss technology a year away from deployment, with all the hype around artificial intelligence and chatbots, BofA must have figured it was a good PR move.

The bank did not disclose whether it was building or buying the technology, but my guess is the latter. We saw a number of Finovate demos last month in this area and expect many more in 2017.

For more info, check out the American Banker story yesterday (free access).