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Putting the tech into RegTech (part 2): chatbots (regbots)

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

RegTech is quite a broad category when it comes to technology. There's no single technology that defines RegTech rather, it's a collection of technologies put together to serve a particular regulatory purpose e.g. customer on-boarding checks. The way technologies can be applied to a given use case can vary too e.g. for regulatory reporting features such as text and semantic analytics could be used to transcribe regulation and map to processes, systems and data. This is useful when trying to determine the impact of a particular regulation and plan out a response to it. However, once compliance has been established what next? This is where chatbots can play a very helpful role.

What is it?

"Chat bots are computer programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence. They can transform the way you interact with the internet from a series of self-initiated tasks to a quasi-conversation."

Wong, What is a chat bot, and should I be using one?, The Guardian, 6th April 2016

Chatbots have been around for a while. The first time I came across one was with America Online (yup, I'm that old). Since then, they've become a common feature in most e-commerce and social media websites. This isn't new technology but given the way in which automation is transforming the way we all work, chatbots are becoming ever more sophisticated. Even though they are some way off from passing the Turing test, they are demonstrating a usefulness in specific areas e.g. repetitive service or information requests.

Why is it important?

In the context of the regulatory compliance, chatbots would have importance in the following areas:

  • Communication - there are both internal and external stakeholders that need to be kept informed and up to date on matters related to compliance

  • Guidance - advice is required to ensure compliance levels are maintained and improved over time

  • Continuity - when people leave or move into new roles and therefore, new starters need to be educated on their roles and responsibilities

  • Individual accountability - due to frameworks such as the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, it's very important that executives have answers to questions related to compliance at their fingertips

Chatbots can be used to provide internal advice and guidance to execution, as well as compliance, teams e.g.

  • "What is my current compliance level for a given regulation?"

  • "Where are my main regulatory gaps concentrated?"

  • "Who do I need to speak to in order to obtain a particular report?"

  • "What are the latest regulations impacting capital markets and when are they due?"

  • "When will I be compliant against a given regulation?"

By providing a single location for queries such as these the effort required when trying to source answers from or for people in multiple locations gets drastically reduced. Further, machine learning capabilities can be brought to bear to help enrich the content of answers as more questions are being asked and the answers refined. The data collected as a result of multiple interactions with the Chatbots has extended value with implications in the realms of monetising data but this is a topic we'll explore at a later date. Overall, you get a sort of "FAQs on steroids"… in a good way!

What next?

Apparently it's called "conversational AI" which essentially takes the above, supported by ultra-high performance compute, personalises and scales it. With these advances comes increased possibility of misuse and that of course needs to be checked as part of the broader debate on regulating artificial intelligence to prevent outcomes which are negative for society e.g. online bullying and the spread of misinformation. In addition to this, there are implications on the jobs market as a whole but we see this as a positive trend - where chatbots are used to automate the more mundane and repetitive tasks, humans get pushed more towards being the "expert in the loop".

How can we help?

ChatBot features are an integral part of the CaaS product roadmap. Contact us to find out more.

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