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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Professionals discuss the importance of AI and it’s impact on the future of banking

Commercial Banking Program and College of Business Administration worked together to host the event
The Panelists had hands on experience with working with AI in the investment banking world. Photo courtesy of Kent Belasco

The Marquette University Commercial Banking Program and College of Business Administration brought banking professionals to the Alumni Memorial Union Ballrooms on April 18 to discuss the use of Artificial Intelligence in banking.

AI is already being used in the banking industry to manage time more effectively. Speakers agreed the presence of AI will help create more time for innovation and creative work. 

Students, faculty and commercial bankers attended the event and enjoyed a light breakfast.

“The presence of AI in banking is exciting but scary,” Kent Belasco, professor of finance and banking, said.

The importance of AI 

Belasco introduced the featured keynote speaker, Nathan Lasnoski, Marquette alum from the class of 2002, and Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Concurrency who spoke on the future of banking for current and rising bankers.

“Using AI is not about data science,” Lasnoski said. “Rather, it’s about re-awakening creativity in banking.”

Lasnoski said the adoption of AI is about skills, not roles, and implementing it requires a growth mindset by challenging yourself to be more. He said knowing how AI functions and works is important for using it in the workplace.

Tom Eck, the senior vice president of digital transformation at Fiserv, said AI is a great tool because you get the answers whereas with search engines, you have to filter through search results and websites to find what you are looking for.

Lasnoski said AI is exponentially filtering into companies and businesses. He said technology has driven productivity since the Industrial Revolution and all the way through to the internet, smartphones and now AI. 

AI in Banking Today

Lasnoski said AI in banking is already here. 

“In our company (Concurrency), we are working with a personal bank organization that is currently using automated loans for their homeowners in California,” Lasnoski said.

He said it shows that banking companies can adopt technological tools like AI to power up and multiply the work they do.

“In banking, AI is going to take away repetitive work for us, allowing for lots of extra time that we aren’t used to having,” Lasnoski said. “With that extra time creative work can happen.” 

Lasnoski said the “creative work” will allow companies to realize what is special about them. AI will be able to help companies express what is special about them and their mission to the world in order to stand out from other commercial banks.

Future use of AI in banking

Lasnoski said AI can automate the analytical work, admin tasks and information gathering for bankers allowing more time for discussion and active engagement with customers. He said asking AI questions is basic instruction, but it will be useful because delegation can be transitioned to AI by telling it to perform tasks in a specific area such as automated loans and knowledge bases.

Additionally, Lasnoski said AI can function as a “team member” and gather research and do meeting prep and portfolio analysis. 

“I can take AI and tell it, ‘Research this possibility for my customer’ and it will help find the next best action for my customer,” Lasnoski said. 

Lasnoski said with customer support, AI will help prompt missed items, create drafts, graphs and presentations.

The Verdict

Research from EY-Parthenon highlights three key areas of change with AI that commercial banks note. Bankers agree that AI is enabling greater productivity by automating sales-related activities, enhancing existing technological capabilities and accelerating broader innovation.

“With implementing AI, we should be fearless but not reckless,” Eck said. “Otherwise, we will run into the common AI concerns: data privacy, data validation, hallucination, human displacement and bias.”

Lasnoski said AI is not just for scientists or engineers, it is for everyone to use to better express the mission of their business.

“Each person has a unique God-given quality to be the best version of themselves,” Lasnoski said. “AI gives us the ability to express that uniqueness about who we are in the world. It (AI) multiplies our abilities and helps make us the best we can be.” 

This story was written by Gabe Mannion. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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