WWDTD: What would Dick Tracy do (for banking)?

In the mid-20th century, imaginations were captivated by the famous cartoon detective Dick Tracy interacting with his “two-way wrist radio.” While Artificial Intelligence (AI) voice digital assistants have existed in our minds through science fiction for many years, the technology has finally come into play in real life through commercial applications. An estimated 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana at least once a month this year, according to eMarketer, a 128.9 percent jump over 2016.

Voice-enabled devices, such as the Amazon Echo with virtual assistant Alexa, allow consumers to conduct a query into data by speaking, rather than thumbing through a structured menu to find the information they’re seeking. This breakthrough – at last mainstream – has been particularly well-received, because our voice is one of the most natural communication channels that we have as human beings (not to mention that it brings an even greater level of convenience to the couch).

A world of possibilities

While the use of these devices was initially limited to non-sensitive tasks like checking the weather, trivia questions or ordering a pizza, consumers can now tap their AI devices – either at home or on the go – to handle their personal banking…hands-free.

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