Kai is jargon-free because the costs of financial illiteracy are high | Kasisto

In previous posts, we shared how creating Kai, the bot that lives inside MyKAI our consumer banking bot, is both science and art. And, you might have read about our intent to craft a genderless bot in Engadget and Refinery29. Today, we want to share how Kai translates banking jargon, confusing acronyms and bewildering fine print into plain English.

Research has attributed a portion of wealth inequality in the US to gaps in financial literacy. What consumers don’t know about topics like mortgages, credit cards, and payday loans hurts them.

When two-thirds of Americans cannot pass a basic literacy test, bots can be good teachers. People can turn to them with questions they may worry are silly without experiencing the nervousness incurred by asking such questions of a human – whether that’s a friend or banker.

For questions with clear-cut answers, like definitions or math problems, a bot can be just as useful as a human. This spring at Georgia Tech, a math professor revealed that a TA whom students had found particularly helpful was actually a bot — painstakingly trained to give answers only when it judged them correct with 97 percent certainty.

With all this in mind, we compiled a glossary of 1,057 consumer banking terms — everything from ARM to Z-score. For its knowledge of consumer banking terms, Kai is indebted to online sources like Investopedia and the helpful glossaries provided by banks as well as the US Dept of Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and others.

We re-phrased the definitions carefully to make them as understandable as possible, then trained Kai to understand these jargon-free banking and financial terms. Our AI UX Designer, Jacqueline Feldman, helped create Kai’s persona with a dry sense of humor that’s not too cute – it’s helpful and efficient, yet personable. Her background is English literature and writing from Yale, so with her love of language Kai speaks conversationally and clearly.

Since Kai’s launch, our glossary continues to grow, and Kai’s financial literacy features are woven into our KAI Banking platform which banks license to create their own banking bots.

Here are a few examples, beginning with Kai answering “What’s a bank?” because after all, there’s no such thing as a stupid question…

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