There is no doubt that we have only glimpsed Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) potential, but what are the key business benefits that it can bring? Currently the UK has an AI workforce which is equivalent to around 50,000 humans, with around one in six UK organisations (currently totalling 432,000) embracing at least one AI technology. Describing ‘a new hybrid workforce’, a recent report by IBM argued that while automated ‘chat-bots’ have been around for years, the large language processing capabilities of generative AI is transforming their useability and capability to create an application more akin to a ‘digital worker’ than a ‘bot’. In such a scenario, workers can step outside of the box with the assistance of generative AI.

Does this apply in the wealth industry? What could be the benefits? AI has been used within this industry for some years now, but its growing impact has only recently become apparent. However there are some clear use cases that have been deployed across the industry in recent years that offer an insight into the potential benefits within the wealth space. Two examples are Back Office Training and Automatic Speech Recognition.

Back Office Training

In the first use case example, AI can be deployed effectively to support continuous back-office staff training, but here again, it is important to remember that the two biggest assets of a company are its people and its data. Technology is an enabler, but its success is dependent on the data it is built upon, the people who use it and how they do so. Currently data management, capture and analysis are the most commonly adopted AI solutions within the UK Wealth Industry at 9% of all adopted solutions.

This data can be collected during the user’s day-to-day work life to enhance understanding of their individual performance across different processes and products, whether this be the collection of process timings data, analysing an individual’s time taken to complete a process, or understanding a user’s work quality, it’s imperative that the benefits AI can now bring are realised. Despite its operational advantages such as automation and speed, generative AI presents the opportunity to cater to a diverse range of requirements, both for customers and the workforce, by offering a more personalized and nuanced experience.

To give one example, by analysing personal workforce performance data, AI can help to identify when members of staff are struggling within a specific area. Armed with this type of data, it is possible to develop a continuous personalised training program that is tailored to the personal needs of the individual. There is also an element of sustainability built into this with AI ensuring that the training remains effective and up to date over time.

Automatic Speech Recognition  (ASR)

Another type of AI that has huge future possibilities within the wealth industry is Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), which plays a pivotal role in the communication between humans and machines. Government data has recently shown that one of the most commonly adopted AI solutions within the UK is ‘natural language processing’ at 8%. Sometimes referred to as “speech-to-text”, this technology has been used within the wealth space for several years as it has several useful features, for example, transcription within meetings and webinars to give users access to a searchable record of the discussion.

ASR can also have a real influence on customer contact channels as it can help support and verify a user’s actions to help provide the best possible outcome for the customer. ASR systems can use machine learning and algorithms to analyse and transcribe audio data into readable text and actionable activities. These systems can allow applications such as AI assistants to support individuals working in a contact centre with the following;

  • assisting with the identification of vulnerable customers or customers in distress with emotion and sentiment recognition.
  • validating the conversation, ensuring a user has understood the call correctly and that the correct actions/changes are being applied accurately to the account or policy.
  • supporting the user in ensuring that all options are relayed and that all regulatory disclaimers are confirmed.

ASR can really break through the norms in terms of customer contact within businesses. It is a valuable tool in bridging the gap between human communication and AI systems, allowing for enhanced customer experiences when picking up the telephone.

There is an implicit question in the title ‘Behind the scenes with AI’; this is how will your business respond to the AI revolution? Whilst welcoming the opportunities that it offers, it is perhaps important to note words of caution too, businesses need to ensure that they build strong governance frameworks that are based on the key principles of transparency, fairness, privacy, and robustness. As a business in the wealth sector, it is your duty to make sure that you are not just prepared to implement AI solutions, but that you are also actively looking into how these solutions might improve client outcomes and fit into your current strategy.


UK Artificial Intelligence (AI) Statistics And Trends In 2024 – Forbes Advisor UK

Tom Cassidy