The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning on Tuesday about generative AI chatbots being used by banks. The agency says it has received “numerous” complaints from customers who interacted with the chatbots and were unable to get “timely, clear” answers to their questions.
“Working with customers to resolve a problem or answer a question is an essential function for financial institutions – and is at the heart of relationship banking,” the agency said in its press release.
AI chatbots could carry the risk of providing customers with inaccurate financial information or breaching their privacy and data, the CFPB said. They could also cause a lack of trust in the financial institution and its services and reduce 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, which were algorithmically trained with customer conversations and chat logs.
Capital One and Bank of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
About one in three people in the US will have interacted with a chatbot in 2022, according to the CFPB. This number is expected to increase as more companies integrate AI into their operations.
“A poorly implemented 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 adopting AI tools. A stream of new services and features powered by generative AI have been released in recent months since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
While AI chatbots have the potential to help people with tasks big and small, some bots do more harm than good. An eating disorder prevention organization took its AI chatbot offline after the bot encouraged weight loss in users who came to the advice line and offered “harmful” and “irrelevant” suggestions.
The CFPB says it monitors the AI chatbot market and encourages customers to file complaints with banking chatbots on its website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).
For more financial tips, here are seven ways to earn more interest on your money and how to open a bank account online.
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