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Bank of America is building an AI helper for its mobile apps

Erica is designed to monitor your finances and keep you from hitting your overdraft limit.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
October 25, 2016
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If you've ever wanted to get financial advice from a computer, then you're going to love what Bank of America is working on. The company has announced that it's developing Erica, a "virtual assistant" designed to help customers better manage their finances. The service will sit inside the firm's mobile banking apps and is designed to become your "trusted financial advocate." This means that it won't be long before an AI starts asking why you spend so much money on hats instead of paying rent.

Users will be able to interact with Erica over voice and text chat, and the 'bot will be able to analyze your spending and spot patterns. You'll get warnings when you have a few days of excessive spending well before you go into overdraft, advice on how to improve your credit rating and budgeting tips. More importantly, Erica will be available 24/7 to help you process transactions and, presumably, be the first point of call if have a problem with your account.

It all sounds pretty exciting, so it's sad to learn that we won't be able to spend any time with Erica in our phones until late 2017. Bank of America's digital chief Michelle Moore said that the firm is still developing the tool and expects to launch it towards the back end of next year. Until then, you'll just have to stare at yourself in the mirror and ask those tough questions about the size of your hat budget.

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