The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning on Tuesday on generative AI chatbots being used by banks. The agency says it has received “numerous” complaints from customers who say the chatbots have failed to provide “timely, straightforward” answers to their questions.
“Working with customers to resolve a problem or answer a question is an essential function for financial institutions – and is the basis of relationship banking,” the agency said in its press release.
Artificial intelligence chatbots could run the risk of providing inaccurate financial information to customers or infringe on their privacy and data, the CFPB said. They could also foment a lack of trust in the financial institution and its services and diminish customer satisfaction, especially if the chatbot complicates the process of directing a customer to a human customer service representative.
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The CFPB named two generative AI chatbots, Capital One’s Eno and Bank of America’s Erica, that were algorithmically trained with customer conversations and chat logs.
Capital One and Bank of America didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Around one in three people in the US interacted with a chatbot in 2022, according to the CFPB. That number is expected to increase as more companies integrate AI into their operations.
“A poorly deployed chatbot can lead to customer frustration, reduced trust, and even violations of the law,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement.
Banks aren’t the only ones embracing AI tools. A flood of new services and features powered by generative AI have been released in recent months following the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
While AI chatbots have the potential to help people on tasks big and small, some bots are causing more harm than good. One eating disorder prevention organization took its AI chatbot offline after the bot encouraged weight loss in users who came to the helpline for advice and offered “harmful” and “unrelated” suggestions.
The CFPB says it is monitoring the AI chatbot market and encourages customers to submit complaints with banking chatbots to its website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).
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