In recent years we’ve seen an increase in companies adopting machine learning and artificial intelligence. While these terms might sound like science fiction, they’re already having a real-world impact on all kinds of companies and industries — and now they’re coming for the financial industry too.
In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at the benefits of AI and machine learning and to give you a better idea of how to use both to empower the financial department of your company.
What are we talking about?
First, it’s important to understand the terms themselves — what do they mean and why are they important? While we can’t dive into a complex technological analysis, it’s easy enough to understand the basics.
Artificial intelligence isn’t just about robots taking your job — even though that’s definitely a part of it. The full spectrum of AI covers the development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, like decision-making and speech recognition.
Machine learning is a kind of artificial intelligence that gives computers the ability to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. In layman’s terms this means that these systems can get better at performing certain tasks on their own, without needing to be controlled by a human.
Together, these two technologies have been changing the way we work with computers, and more importantly, how computers work for us. Apple is using machine learning in its latest iPhone to enable users to make better photos and Instagram uses it to detect bullying in posts, making it easier for the company to take action when needed. But consumer technology is not the only place where this technology is making waves — it’s also increasingly being used in businesses.
Changing financial departments
The financial industry relies heavily on digital workflows and databases, making it a perfect candidate for the benefits of AI and machine learning. There are a couple of easily identifiable use cases for AI and machine learning in financial departments — we’ll run through them here.
When you’re talking about finance, you have to talk about fraud. It’s a problem that’s costing the sector lots of money every year — costs which are eventually passed on to the customer. While humans can have a hard time spotting fraud in a large database of transactions, artificial intelligence can identify the crime in no time. Machine learning plays an important part here — by analysing the signs of fraudulent behavior in historical data it can constantly get better at finding similar patterns in recent or real-time data.
There’s no industry where compliance is more important than the financial industry. Governments are doing everything they can to make sure companies are following laws and regulations, asking them to regularly report on their earnings, employees and other data. This makes for a task that isn’t just incredibly time-consuming, but is also prone to mistakes that could end up costing the company a lot of money.
Fortunately, AI is here to save the day. The technology can provide a highly sophisticated way of conforming to the legal requirements of running a business, automatically gathering the right data and sending it on its way to the right agencies. Better even, it could be able to spot compliance issues before they turn into bigger problems, saving the company from having to pay large fines.
Another recent buzzword, big data has been gaining more and more practical use in recent times — and for good reason. When it’s implemented in a smart way, it can turn large swaths of seemingly uninteresting data into actionable information. If market data would be used as input, for example, the right kind of application would be able to make predictions about its future performance — something that can be used to create insights about upcoming finance trends.
There’s lots of potential for automation of mundane, repetitive tasks — checking data, copying information and other tasks that can be mind-numbing work for humans but are a breeze for computers. These chores are a dime a dozen in the financial industry, which makes it perfect for the productivity-enhancing powers of artificial intelligence.
Implement the best of AI & machine learning today
While some of these applications can be expensive to build and others are still far from ready for day-to-day use, getting started with AI and machine learning doesn’t have to be hard. Rydoo is a powerful all-in-one platform for effortless expense management — and it’s always adding new features utilising the cutting-edge of technology.
When you upload a receipt to your expense, it’s automatically processed by our advanced optical character recognition, or OCR. That means our systems read the text from your photo, copying it from the document to pre-fill as many fields as possible. This makes processing a receipt a lot faster — and it gets better every time you use it thanks to machine learning constantly improving the algorithm.