How Intuit is “democratizing” AI-driven product development

We’re building and deploying machine learning models in weeks versus months to accelerate personalized AI at scale for consumers and small businesses.

A group of Indian technology professionals collaborate around a laptop in a corporate office.
A group of Indian technology professionals collaborate around a laptop in a corporate office.

When AI became an established field in the 1950s, it lived in the R&D labs of universities and government agencies. When it started being commercialized some 50 years later, it still had a lab-like existence, accessible to a small number of scientists with specialized training.

But today, the lab walls are coming down. A developer no longer needs a Ph.D. to create meaningful solutions with AI. And Intuit is focused on putting AI development capabilities in the hands of all of its 6,000+ technologists.

That’s why we’ve built a self-serve, no-code AI Marketplace within our development environment that’s “democratizing AI” across product teams, reducing the time to build and deploy a model from 3 to 4 months to 2 weeks or less, on average. Now, Intuit technologists are building AI capabilities into products as easily as any other feature or component, whether or not they have specialized knowledge of AI.

Rather than starting from scratch, they’re tapping into AI-ready components that can be applied to power multiple use cases (e.g., reusable models for auto complete, financial error detection, natural language processing, user interface design, and more). And they’re consuming reusable AI-native models and reusable AI services to build their own models within Intuit’s responsible AI and data governance guidelines and guardrails.

Software developers, data scientists, machine learning engineers, and data analysts alike are speeding development and deployment of ML models in our products. For example:

  • TurboTax Online: an Intuit data analyst with limited ML experience reduced model building time from 1 week to 5 hours.
  • QuickBooks Online: an Intuit data scientist reduced model development and deployment time from 2 months to 4 days.
  • QuickBooks Live: an Intuit software engineer was able to reduce model development and deployment time from 4 to 6 weeks to 4 days.

In the coming weeks, we’ll enhance our internal AI Marketplace with a new generative AI lab environment. This will enable our global technology organization to more easily experiment with generative AI models from multiple third parties and Intuit’s own foundational language models, which are trained on a large amount of unlabeled data and can be adapted to many applications.

By putting foundational building blocks in the hands of all Intuit technologists to create AI-powered products with greater efficiency, we’re getting to market faster with personalized experiences that give customers complete confidence in their financial decisions with  TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp. With thousands of our technologists applying AI to solve our customers’ biggest financial problems, we’re sure to achieve our mission of powering prosperity around the world even faster.