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Making AI work for your finances
If you’ve used Siri, Alexa or Bixby to control your music or set an alarm or reminder, you’ve used an AI application.
Disclaimer: This article was not written by ChatGPT.

We are in the age of Artificial Intelligence. If you’ve used Siri, Alexa or Bixby to control your music or set an alarm or reminder, you’ve used an AI application.

AI is essentially machine programming that replicates how humans think and act. While many are quick to associate AI with robots, it’s not entirely accurate. There are some use cases of AI in robotics but for the most part, the technology is used to automate repetitive tasks and has vastly improved the user experience. Think Google maps, facial recognition technology or even the autocorrect on your mobile device.
The latest breakthrough is generative AI and many would be familiar with ChatGPT – the AI chatbot that many commentators say has taken the world by storm. What exactly is generative AI? McKinsey describes it as AI that generates content in response to a prompt. Whether you’re writing social media captions, creating testimonials or coming up with a travel itinerary, it has captured the interest of millions of users around the world.

ChatGPT may be able to generate an answer to pretty much any question, respond to an email or write college essays. However, it isn’t reliable or accurate enough to replace most jobs yet and many commentators have labelled it a distraction.
The promise and potential of AI in finance
One area where AI shows promise in transforming the way you can manage your finances.

Chatbot assistants like Baiduri Bank’s Emmi can get you fast, accurate answers without having to wait in line or on the phone for an answer. It is trained to understand your journey. Through machine learning algorithms, Emmi “learns” the context behind a question. For example, there are many ways to ask the chatbot “how can I open a bank account?” but it is also able to catch different combinations of that phrase.

Sometimes, it says, “I do not understand” and through that prompt, the machine learning aspect figures out whether Emmi needs to be “trained” further.

In the US , there are many AI apps for financial management like Mint, MoneyLion, Olivia and Cleo. While they have their differences, most integrate with a US bank account and help manage your personal finance processes like tracking income, expenses and investments, budgeting and debt management. Using AI algorithms, these apps help analyse your data, categorise your expenses and updates how you’re tracking each month alongside your savings objectives.

Regulatory frameworks have yet to keep up with the fast pace of developments on this front, but in the longer-term, Baiduri Bank aspires to develop an AI app to complement its existing suite of financial tools.

On the investment side, more savvy investors can also tap on AI tools. By applying AI algorithms on large amounts of data sets, apps can review past investment decisions, analyse macroeconomic conditions and predict price movements based on market sentiments.

The problem with AI
While there is excitement about the promise that a new technology brings, there are also concerns, especially on the ethical front.

Geoffrey Hinton, widely known as the godfather of AI, quit Google in May. Hinton came to the realisation that computers could become smarter than people far sooner than he and other experts had expected. His departure is widely interpreted as a warning sign of the dangers of AI, as he wanted to be able to speak freely about the technology without considering how it would impact its former employer.

Since March 2023, key figures like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, have added their signatures to an open letter calling on all AI labs to immediately pause for 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.

AI scams are here

Ethical concerns aside, a big worry for consumers is that it makes it harder to discern what’s fake or real. Whether it’s voice or video impersonations, scammers are already misusing AI and getting away with it. The Washington Post reports that such scams are on the rise in the US, with advancements in AI making it easier and cheaper to replicate a voice with an audio sample of just a few sentences. Unfortunately, many victims are the elderly, who get tricked into thinking their loved ones are in trouble.

These deepfake scams have also made their way to China and authorities in Southeast Asia are closely monitoring these threats. In Malaysia, there have been reports of viral WhatsApp messages claiming several school kids were kidnapped, according to The New Straits Times One woman said she received a call claiming her son would be held as hostage until she paid a ransom. Upon checking, she realised her son was safe and did not fall victim to the scam.

There are a couple of warning signs to watch out for if you receive a call from a relative in “trouble”, according to cybersecurity company TrendMicro. First, the use of urgent language and demands for money. Second , asking to be paid using an untraceable method like cryptocurrency or gift cards. Third, suspiciously good voice recording quality with little or no background noise, and fourth, inconsistencies in the information provided.

AI is also increasingly used to generate images and videos for scams. BBC highlighted that many content creators use their TikTok accounts to post photos of natural disasters like the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, while asking for donations. On verification by other social media users, those images used were not of the actual devastation and were instead created or manipulated by an AI generator.

If you’re considering donating to support a worthy cause you’ve seen on social media, donate directly via a charity’s website. Do not click on the links you see on social media as these are often directed to scammers’ PayPal accounts.

The big takeaway!
If there’s one takeaway from this article, this is it! In a generation that’s grown up with Siri and Alexa, AI is changing the way you manage your money. Using AI-based tools and solutions can help you track your expenditures and make more informed financial decisions. While promising, there are also problems that come with new technology. Scammers are already misusing AI to fake voices and videos.
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Important update
19 September 2023

We would like to inform you that with effect from 31 October 2023, Business i-Banking service will no longer be operational, and this will be replaced with our new Baiduri b.Digital Business service.

If your company has not transitioned to b.Digital Business, please ensure that every existing user provides the following by 8 October 2023 through the Business i-Banking Inbox:
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Alternatively, you can complete the b.Digital Business Amendment Form and submit the form(s) directly to Baiduri Digital Hub, Ground Level, Baiduri Bank Headquarters.

Every user will receive a notification email at their registered email address, once they have been migrated and activated on the b.Digital Business service.

Companies who have not moved to b.Digital Business after 31 October 2023 can re-apply as a new subscriber to the b.Digital Business service. This will require additional documentations to be submitted as part of the application. Refer “Required Documents” here.

Important notice: Our Business i-Banking service will be deactivated soon. To ensure continued access and a smooth transition to the new Baiduri b.Digital Business, please provide your full name, IC, email address and mobile number via Business i-Banking Inbox. If we do not receive updated details from all authorised users, your company will not be migrated to the new platform and a fresh application will be required. For assistance, contact us at [email protected] or call 2268 637/8/9 during business hours. Thank you for your cooperation.

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