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The AI Factor: Charting the Industry’s Road Ahead

"Artificial intelligence" (AI) is a popular buzzword within the industry today, conjuring images of smarter processes, expanded automation, and an overall smoother path ahead. However, what is the actual state of the industry when it comes to AI? Does the ground-level reality live up to the futuristic associations the name conjures? These were just some of the questions explored during a recent MReport webinar entitled "Intelligent Lending: Roadmap to ROI Using AI Technology," presented by AI Foundry.

You can view a recording of the full presentation by clicking here.

MReport's "Intelligent Lending" webinar presented a roundtable-style discussion that enlisted the talents and insights of four subject-matter experts:

The webinar kicked off with a look at some of the ways artificial intelligence can help tackle challenges such as declining profit margins and attempts to streamline and improve the customer process. The panel discussed how robotic agents can replace laborious, manual processes involving calculating, indexing, and filing. Butler observed that, while robotic process automation has not consistently decreased costs, the combination of AI and intelligent processing automation could help solve for that. The group also discussed how AI could help connect customers with the back office and provide immediate updates as to the status of their documents or applications.

Deitch also noted that AI can perform income analysis for most borrowers, including the self-employed. Factoring in other ways that AI could help speed things up, Ellie Mae's Garg estimated that AI could help shave 5-10 days off the timeline of a loan application.

The discussion then turned to questions of just how far along the industry really is when it comes to adoption of AI. The consensus was that, although AI holds enormous potential, it's still very early days as far as implementation within the mortgage and servicing industries. Spiegel noted that most regional banks are still in the beginning stages of building data science and engineering teams internally, as well as engaging with external vendors and technology providers on proof-of-concept initiatives.

For the most part, Deitch said, efforts at the moment are focused on the "low-hanging fruit"—areas where AI can more easily be tested or incorporated into existing processes.

The group agreed that AI is a topic that tends to be surrounded by a number of misconceptions, such as the belief that AI will inherently cause bias in decision-making or make most jobs redundant. While AI can automate many key processes, Garg suggested that AI can ideally be used to augment existing processes and technologies, allowing them to make better decisions and react according to strong, data-driven strategies.

Citizens Bank's Spiegel also dismissed concerns that AI poses insurmountable challenges from a regulatory risk perspective.

To hear the full discussion, including the panel's thoughts on basic steps companies looking to incorporate AI into their workflow can take to get started, click here to access the recording.

If you enjoy this webinar, please also listen to MReport and AI Foundry's previous presentation, "Intelligent Lending: The Rise of AI."

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Editor-in-Chief at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has nearly 20 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. He can be reached at [email protected].

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