What People Are Saying
Check out the latest news on Kasisto and the growth of conversational AI.
The startup is coming off a good year, in which it signed up Mastercard, the Development Bank of Singapore, the Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo. Kasisto is part of the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator program, which contributed to its seed round. RBC has been piloting Kasisto's chatbot, Kai, to its customers and Mastercard launched a pilot for Mastercard Kai, a bot for banks.
Oren believes customers will want to do more than that. Finding the nearest ATM or branch (which some virtual assistants such as Siri can already do) “is not the most useful use” of chatbots, Oren says. “You can get the same experience by using Google Maps. People want to get information that requires more of a conversation.”
“Ultimately we’ll get to the generalist approach,” he explains, the AI platform, the virtual assistant that can do it all. For now, “given the current state of technology and capabilities of the systems, I think focusing on specific domains is inevitable, in order to deliver a valuable, actionable experience to the consumer.” In time, “Siri will know which Apple to buy for you,” Gorelov continues. “But right now, I think domain-specific AI is the way to go.”
Now, a new banking app named Val has been introduced to the world. The bot is brought by Kasisto, a company focused on transforming consumer banking through artificial intelligence (AI), and mobile banking startup Varo Money. The partnership announced that it intends to power Val through Varo’s mobile app.
Named Val, the bot will help Varo customers plan emergency savings, set goals, and provide insights that help them keep track of and control their spending. Created by Kasisto, the bot can answer more than 1,000 questions about an individual’s personal finances.
"We wanted to do a genderless bot, not an assistant that was a continuation of what was already out there," says Dror Oren, the co-founder and VP of Product at Kasisto, the financial tech startup that created KAI. "As a company, we had a choice here. We could have KAI respond with flirts and funny jokes, or we could choose to answer with a funny joke, but not a flirt."
As Gupta describes it, Watson “is an inch deep and a mile wide”, trained to process and answer questions on diverse topics from health, cooking and gardening to banking. Meanwhile, DBS has found Kasisto, the chatbot in digibank, to be performing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is answering all the questions asked of it. “It is taking care of 95% to 96% of all our queries, and handled without human interference,” Gupta says. This is because Kasisto was created to operate in the financial services domain and hence built in with a lot more financial expertise and the ability to understand and answer financial and banking queries.
A few start-ups have already found success — and attracted attention from the banks — by creating chatbots that do particular financial tasks.