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BofA Boasts 800 AI Patents as it Doubles Down on Customer Service Tech

TL;DR

  • Bank of America is investing heavily in AI technology, having secured 800 AI-related patents.
  • The bank has integrated AI in a virtual assistance called Erica, which helps millions of customers.
  • While challenges remain for implementing AI in core banking operations, BofA’s experience with Erica highlights the potential of AI to benefit customer service in the banking industry.

Bank of America (BofA) has topped up its AI-related patents amid a broad plan to deploy the technology to serve the customers better. 

BofA Now Has 800 AI Related Patents

BofA said Wednesday it secured 644 U.S. patents last year covering different areas, including artificial intelligence, information security, and machine learning. The record represents a 13% increase compared to the patents secured by the bank in the previous year. 

The second-largest US bank is very deep into technological innovation. According to reports, it spends about $12 billion annually on technology. This year, it plans to allocate $3.8 billion to new initiatives, which may include AI technologies, according to the words of the chief technology and information officer, Aditya Bhasin. 

“Innovation is everybody’s business – this is not a lab or some small group tucked away,” said Bhasin. “We are thinking about how AI can be used to make us able to serve our clients better.”

BofA reportedly has 6,600 patents granted or pending approval around the world, 800 of which are related to AI technology. 

AI in Banking

One outstanding area in which BofA has applied AI is improving customer services. The bank operates a virtual assistant called Erica, which leverages AI technology to get customers the assistance they need. 

Erica was initially launched in 2018 to help customers manage their finances. However, BofA extended the capabilities of the tool using AI to improve account management services and deliver a more intuitive customer service experience for users. 

As of October 2022, Erica has helped nearly 32 million BofA customers with everyday financial needs, surpassing one billion interactions. 

“We expect the second billion to come even more quickly as we continue to evolve Erica’s capabilities, providing clients with the shortest route to the answers they need about their financial lives,” said David Tyrie, Chief Digital Officer at BofA. 

While integrating AI into core financial systems remains a cautious dance for many banks, the customer service arena banks can heavily dabble with AI. 

On the one hand, core financial operations involve critical transactions and sensitive data, making banks understandably wary of potential risks associated with AI integration. Issues like security vulnerabilities, algorithmic bias, and regulatory compliance pose significant hurdles that require careful consideration and robust safeguards before widespread adoption.

However, the customer service landscape presents a different scenario. Here, AI offers compelling benefits that outweigh the perceived risks. Chatbots powered by AI can handle routine inquiries, answer frequently asked questions, and even resolve simple issues, freeing up human agents for more complex matters. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam is an optimistic crypto journalist. Five years from now, he sees himself establishing a unique crypto media outlet that will breach the gap between the crypto world and the general public. He loves to associate with like-minded individuals and collaborate with them on similar projects. He spends much of his time honing his writing and critical thinking skills.

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