The phrase “artificial intelligence” often conjures up images of robots walking among us, taking our jobs and eventually… controlling the world. The real AI landscape—while still impressive—is a little more mundane. But I suppose intelligent customer service representatives or inanimate smart home devices don’t make for a good Hollywood drama.

Believe it or not, but we are already widely using artificial intelligence. In fact, you probably have some kind of AI device in your pocket as you read this article: Cortana, Google Now, Alexa, Siri, or another virtual assistant built into your smart phone. While they’re more primitive than our Hollywood preconceptions, they still fit the bill.

The Subtle Implementation Of AI Technology

The world of business is rapidly changing and many industries are already adopting some form of artificial intelligence into their business models. One of the most common ways AI has already made the crossover is through the use of chatbots. In fact, they’ve become so widespread, many of us don’t even recognise them when we see them—think about the last time you visited a website and was greeted by a messenger app on the corner of the page, or sent an enquiry and received a response that seemed a little un-human.

According to GDS Group, the banking sector could be next to take up chatbots on wider scale. While they have been tried and tested in a limited capacity—and met with an extremely positive response from the Millennial generation—the technology is still finding its feet. But despite the initial positive results, the banking sector hasn’t been able to fully embrace AI.

The Next Step Is Acceptance

Leonard Prestridge, CIO of Community One Bank, recently stated that they’re currently looking for more ways of utilising AI technology in the customer service sector as it helps save time and money—customer service is the second most expensive area of the banking business behind card processing. However, the biggest drawback at present isn’t whether the technology can be implemented on a wider scale, but rather, whether people want it.

Like any new technology there is a level of fear surrounding the issue. People don’t feel as comfortable speaking with a robot and many are concerned about the impact that chatbots could have on human jobs. The banks have, however, reiterated that they won’t use AI as a replacement, but as a supplement that allows workers to focus on more complex tasks. But until we (the consumers) see it work and have some kind of reassurance, it’ll be difficult to fully trust it.

That said, in today’s fast-paced world where we all seem stressed about time, most of us tend to prefer self-service technology (when it works, of course). Banks and business are adopting chatbots because they’re customer-centric and much cheaper to run. While it may be a slow transition period, the end result is inevitable.

After all, when people start to realise that the combination of self-service and assisted-service will deliver much better results than what’s currently on offer, it’ll be much easier for consumers to accept chatbots. This could eventually pave the way for even greater AI breakthroughs.