Ann Arbor startup reveals AI financial assistant

Questions like "When do I get paid next?" and "Can I afford this?" plague most of us daily, but a new artificial intelligence assistant from an Ann Arbor startup puts the answers at mobile users' fingertips.

Tech startup Clinc launched its voice-activated personal finance and banking assistant, Finie – think "financial genie" – last week at the Finovate fall conference in New York.

Built on the foundation of Clinc's open-source artificial intelligence technology, Finie lets users ask conversational questions and learns their behavior to offer personalized financial and banking advice with speech and graphics.

Users can get answers on topics like spending history, account balances, transaction history, income, and nearest bank and ATM locations. They can also carry out tasks like transferring funds between accounts and ordering new checks.

Jason Mars, Clinc's cofounder and a professor at the University of Michigan, says Finie helps achieve Clinc's goal of bringing cutting-edge AI and systems research to people around the world. According to Mars, the assistant also tackles a modern problem of financial identity.

"As our society has moved away from physical currency toward credit cards and digital payments, our ability to know and understand the state of our financial selves has become ever more complex and laborious," Mars says. "Finie eliminates the friction we experience in understanding our financial status."

Mars says Finie works seamlessly with existing mobile apps for banks, financial institutions, and personal finance managers. Since the platform integrates into existing apps, no personal information is stored by Clinc and security is provided by the "parent" app.

"Finie is deployed with the strongest security protocols and adheres to compliance policies of each respective financial institution," Mars says.

Forming financial industry partners is now Clinc's top priority, but Mars hints that more specialized AI assistants could be on the way.

"The core technology that underlies Finie can be applied to other domains," Mars says. "You’ll have to stay tuned."

Photo by Doug Coombe.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.