May 21, 2024

Wells Fargo, artificial intelligence, and you

The artificial intelligence revolution is here. Here’s what you need to know about AI and how Wells Fargo is using it to help customers.

A woman is looking down at a cell phone that she is holding with both hands.
May 21, 2024

Wells Fargo, artificial intelligence, and you

The artificial intelligence revolution is here. Here’s what you need to know about AI and how Wells Fargo is using it to help customers.

Editor’s note: This is the first part of a Wells Fargo Stories series focused on artificial intelligence. Read part 2: “How Wells Fargo builds responsible artificial intelligence.” Read part 3: “Artificial intelligence has the potential to reshape banking.”

We’re in a new era of artificial intelligence. It makes headlines daily, such as AI-generated songs that sound like your favorite pop star. Today’s growing ecosystem of revolutionary AI tools has sparked unprecedented interest in this area of technology. Just look at ChatGPT. OpenAI’s natural language AI chatbot become one of the world’s fastest-growing web platforms just two months after launching in late 2022.

While AI is today’s trending topic, Wells Fargo has invested in AI technology for the better part of a decade. Those investments are now paying off through better experiences for customers.

“Over the past two or three years, the use of AI and machine learning tools has become more streamlined, allowing them to be more easily integrated into business applications,” said Swarup Pogalur, Wells Fargo’s head of digital and AI capabilities engineering. “At Wells Fargo, we’ve been on a journey to AI adoption — from a digital adopter to a digital leader — while carefully managing our risks to ensure consistency with regulatory oversight.”

New to artificial intelligence? Here’s what you need to know.

1. What is AI and what is Wells Fargo doing with it?

The simple definition of AI is that it’s a problem-solving machine. Artificial intelligences are designed to mirror or simulate human logic by taking in information and learning from each interaction.

This technology is far from science fiction. Just look in your Wells Fargo Mobile app to see it in action. Fargo™ is a virtual assistant that helps customers get answers to their everyday banking questions on their smartphone.1 Fargo™ uses Dialogflow, Google’s conversational AI, to understand what you want to do by comparing what you type or say in the app to data from countless consumer conversations.

But there are many other types of AI that shape your banking experience. For example, the Customer Engagement Engine gives Wells Fargo bankers insights into what sort of goals or conversations would be the most useful for customers.

“How do we draw insights from data to drive better customer outcomes and operational efficiencies? We looked at this as a significant innovation opportunity for the bank,” Pogalur said.

2. Why have AI technology?

AI gives the technology you touch daily a deeper understanding of who you are. That has countless benefits for customers.

Representatives of two in three of LinkedIn’s 50 Top U.S. Companies agree that AI already helps their businesses be faster and smarter. Another one in three of top companies, a list that includes Wells Fargo, say that they expect AI to make even larger gains over the next five years.

One AI-based technology platform at Wells Fargo that will have a big impact soon is the Enterprise Open Source Data Science Platform. It lays the groundwork for building and delivering innovative tools and improvements for customers much more quickly by arming Wells Fargo data scientists with AI and machine learning building blocks they can use to develop AI solutions in an accelerated manner and help design better data driven customer experiences. The platform will help the company stay agile through upcoming AI transformations.

“Just like every other industry, financial services will see a significant disruption in how we build products and services we offer,” Pogalur said. “But we have a strong position around open banking, meaning as the AI space evolves, we are able to create banking products that are super-charged with AI and be where customers are.”

3. What's in store for AI at Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo is preparing for major changes with AI in the next few years. Our engineers are building the foundational platforms and key components that will allow us to accelerate the deployment and use of AI in a safe and sustainable way.

We are committed to responsible technology and strong risk management; this is especially critical for AI-based systems. Wells Fargo recently endorsed the AI Bill of Rights, in which the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy calls for safe and effective uses of AI that do not expose consumers to discrimination and abusive data practices.

“AI Products and Solutions and the AI technology landscape is going through a phase of rapid innovation and has opened up a wealth of opportunities to reimagine how we engage with our customers and employees by enabling personalized and intuitive experiences,” Pogalur said. “Wells Fargo is very well-positioned to learn and adopt to these opportunities in a thoughtful way because we have the talent, the leadership, and the capabilities.”

1 Availability may be affected by your mobile carrier’s coverage area. Your mobile carrier’s message and data rates may apply. Fargo is only available on the smartphone versions of the Wells Fargo Mobile® app.