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Paving a Path to Virtual Financial Advice at Scale

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Traditional recommender systems, predictive analytics, data-driven insights, and human expert-assisted matchmaking are delivering tremendous value for small business accounting and personal finance.

Throughout the global pandemic, Intuit has seen accelerated adoption of our human-assisted AI-driven virtual financial services with Intuit’s TurboTax Live and QuickBooks Live products and services. 

This is a shift we believe is here to stay

Over the past several years as Chief Data Officer at Intuit, it’s been my privilege to work with an incredible cross-organizational team to help build a global technology platform that helps our customers and communities overcome their most important financial challenges. Our first-hand customer experience tells us that there is an opportunity to take things to the next level in our industry. 

So, what’s next? 

Looking into a crystal ball, we envision a fintech future where the best of machines and humans will work together to provide virtual financial advice at scale for millions of people worldwide. 

By blending the fast, accurate information processing of computers with human adaptability to changing circumstances, products and services of the future will leverage their respective strengths to provide advice that enables sophisticated, nuanced customer journeys to power prosperity. 

Over the next several years, the convergence of natural language processing/understanding (NLP/NLU), computational linguistics, AI/machine learning and knowledge engineering will bring this vision to life. 

This would mean providing nuanced, context-based personalization and recommendations delivered in natural language, with the ability to flexibly adjust to help a small business or consumer make the best choice.  As with human financial experts, such an AI-driven financial platform could answer questions, advocate for one financial strategy over another, and flexibly adjust recommendations over time, based on choices made by the customer.  

Far beyond what’s possible with today’s chatbots and virtual agents, this technology will come together on an AI-driven expert platform that understands, learns and adapts to individualized customer needs. Such a platform will approximate human decision-making with automated conversational context tracking and switching, insights generation, real-time data systems, and more, augmented by virtual “live”  human experts. Altogether to provide optimal personalized recommendations for each and every one of our customers. 

For example, the system would know what questions to ask to understand why a small business owner might be  reluctant to accept an offer of a loan to expand their business. Despite a low interest rate and great terms, such a recommendation could be a non-starter for a bakery owner who’s grown up in a family where taking on debt is discouraged in favor of building a business from the ground up. This is where a modern AI platform could intuitively know when to enlist an empathetic  human expert to help the customer make an informed, data-backed decision. 

Here at Intuit, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made with the AI-driven virtual expert platform behind our human-assisted TurboTax Live and QuickBooks Live products, and we’re excited for what the future holds. 

If you share our passion at Intuit for melding the best of machines and humans to power prosperity for consumers and small businesses around the world, we’re always looking for top tech talent to join us on our journey. Please post your comments here, visit our career page to check out open positions, and join our talent community!