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In the intervening years Narrative Science has shifted its focus and today earns the bulk of its revenues from writing reports for financial services firms. Companies such as Credit Suisse, Deloitte and MasterCard rely on the automatic reports generated by Quill, Narrative Science's rather anachronistically-named AI software.
Gartner fellow Daryl Plummer is bullish on the prospect for "robowriters" like Quill, forecasting that by 2018, one fifth of business content will be authored by machines.
An example of quick work is how Narrative Science's AI tool, Quill, takes on the financial portfolio quarterly report. It typically takes humans hours to compile. "We've taken a process like that and taken it down to a few seconds," Frankel said. The resulting report tells "how the portfolio is performing in a format you can read and understand."
Quill is used by financial firms for customer communications and operational and regulatory reports. Rather than replace employees, it frees them up for deeper thinking and meaningful inquiries. "Quill is configured to start with those questions and dive backward," Frankel said.
USAA is also looking at using Quill internally for reporting and analytics, to improve productivity by allowing staff to spend more time on other work. Gipson says the firm is exploring other potential uses and will use the software “wherever it makes sense”.
Another use is in satisfying increasing demands for regulatory returns. Deloitte uses Quill to produce the narrative section of its suspicious activity reports for US regulator FinCen, an anti-money laundering return introduced in 2012 that must be completed within 60 days.
You can’t make good on that promise [of what big data was supposed to do] unless you communicate it in the right way. People don’t understand charts; they don’t understand graphs; they don’t understand lines on a page. They just don’t. We can’t be angry at them for being human. Instead we should actually have the machine do what it needs to do in order to fill that gap between what it knows and what people need to know.
"And the best part is that what we believed early on is coming true. The ability to generate narratives from data will someday be built into every dashboard. People now believe that technology like ours can improve operations, help customers, reduce risk... there's no reason why technology like ours won't be widely available if not ubiquitous.
So over time we've gone from deciding whether our idea could be a business to deciding how to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity we have." - Stuart Frankel
Robots — or more precisely, software that takes data and turns it into natural language — may be producing the next report a bank regulator reads.
That’s if Narrative Science‘s latest offering takes hold. The Chicago-based software firm launched a solution for AML (anti-money laundering) processes on Nov. 10 that is currently in beta testing with one large financial institution, according to Kim Neuwirth, product manager with Narrative Science.
Narrative Science, a provider of advanced natural language generation for the enterprise, announced the launch of Quill for Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Quill for AML automates many of the manual processes related to regulatory reporting and compliance documentation by generating natural language reports that are consistent and traceable back to the system of record.
Instead what evolved wasn't a legion of robot writers, but analysts. Hammond basically said that there are not enough data scientists to analyze the amount of data that's being generated.
Plus, in an age of personalization, it could make more sense for something like Quill to look at the credit card statements for a small business, and make suggestions on spending habits and the like.
Other uses could be financial portfolio commentary, or sensor-driven reporting for IoT.
Risk management still involves many manual tasks for companies that need written reports based on standardized data structures, said Julie Conroy, research director and fraud expert with Boston-based Aite Group. "These reports range from SAR [suspicious activity report] filings for fraud and anti-money laundering to board and management reports on key performance indicators," Conroy added. "Quill gives firms the ability to automate these tasks, Conroy said. "It frees up valuable resources for the more important business of actually fighting the fraud and working to improve customer service," she said.
In launching Quill for AML today, Narrative Science leveraged its advanced natural language technology to bring new anti-money laundering technologies to the enterprise.
Quill for AML automates regulatory and compliance reporting and documentation typically done by hand. The solution allows businesses to produce SAR (Suspicious Activity Report) narratives and other reports that are consistent and traceable. And the automation speeds up the process, making filing deadlines easier to meet.