Banks are facing their "Kodak momentum"

17-11-30 14:11 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

In 1960, we imagined that human hands would be replaced by robot hands, but the work itself was not thought to change. Now, 57 years later, robotics and AI are increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives with much wider applications than what was depicted in this cartoon found in Nordea’s bank museum.

Although we expected the onset of robots, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) long ago, these technologies and their applications are now growing exponentially, which will radically transform our daily routines and how we work.

In order for us to stay ahead of the game, we must see ourselves as conductors of AI and robot orchestras. What role will humans play? 

Technological leaps as turning points

Human history is dotted with important technological leaps, such as the invention of the wheel, the electric lamp, the internal combustion engine, the mobile phone and the touchscreen.

Technological leaps have always had ground-breaking effects on industries. The phrase ‘Kodak moment’ is used to illustrate a moment that is worth preserving. It is somewhat ironic that Kodak itself had a ‘Kodak momentum’ with the emergence of digital photos, but missed it – and the rest is history. 

Now the banking sector is facing its own ‘Kodak momentum’. The pace of digitalisation in the banking industry is enormous, and in the future our customers will be able to handle everything that they now view as traditional banking services through other operators than traditional banks.

Smarter solutions in our daily lives

The era of automatic data processing has given way to the era of digital services. Robotics will help us increase the speed and availability of digital services for our customers and enable us to focus on new value-adding activities, such as advising household and corporate customers during the steps in the customer journey.

The next era will be the era of intelligent data processing. Algorithms utilising machine intelligence to learn will make our daily lives easier. These smarter creatures crunching more data will help us get rid of tasks that AI will handle faster, more reliably – and much better.

We should look at the changes brought on by robotics and AI as opportunities for collaboration and as changes in how work is structured rather than competing for the same tasks.

The Spotify of financial services?

Just as Spotify recommends new songs for us to listen to, AI will at some point be able to recommend new and better financial services. We want to continue to safeguard your finances and help you build your wealth. We want to continue to enable dreams and everyday aspirations. 

Taking steps into the unknown has always frightened us humans. When trains were introduced back in the day, there were people fuelling fears that the human physique would not tolerate speeds exceeding 30 km/h. Obviously this did not turn out to be the case. 

Going forward, we will be able to conclude that machines did not conquer the world when the degree of automation rose sharply between 1990 and 2040 – only the meaning of human work changed. Humans will find a new place in the world, as they have always done. 

/Jussi Muurikainen, Vice President, Digital Service Offering, Personal Banking and Janne Kaisto, Head of Robotics

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