AI virtual assistants in banking: reflection on recent trends
Antoshchuk, Irina Alexandrovna Research Fellow, Interdisciplinary Research Center, Lecturer, Humanities & Social Sciences Center, MIPT University, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
Abstract Development and implementation of virtual assistants (VA) in the banking and financial sector is at its boom, being stimulated by the coronavirus pandemic and the massive spread of distant communication technology. AI technology is introduced with the aim to improve the quality and speed of customer service, to increase their satisfaction and loyalty, to ensure greater revenues for banks and other financial institutions, while reducing their personnel costs. The number and diversity of VAs is growing rapidly throughout the world, and their functions are becoming more complex and diverse. In the context of this abundant diversity, the question arises, what are the main directions in the development of VAs? How can they be analysed by STS and sociological approaches, moving beyond prevailing economic and marketing analysis? To answer these questions, I conducted an analysis of prominent VA cases for 2019-2021, focusing on Europe, US and Russia. I identify several main trends (personalisation, humanisation, complex communication, multi-mode engagement) and seek to place them in the current STS and sociological debates on the meaning and implications of AI technology.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, virtual/ digital assistant, science and technology studies