"Banking is necessary, Banks are not" is a famous quote from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, which characterizes the current debate of the increasing digitalization of banking. Robo-advisors are digital platforms comprising interactive and intelligent information technology to guide customers through an automated (investment) advisory process. In particular, robo-advisors differ from existing online investment platforms or online brokerage with respect to two different
conceptual levels: customer assessment, and customer portfolio management.
Conversational agents (CAs), such as chatbots or voice-based personal assistants, interact with customers using natural language. They promise a more convenient and intuitive user interface in contrast to classical graphical user interfaces. Moreover, the design of the conversation between the CA and the consumer can be adapted using various social cues, such as the formality of the language or the appearance of the CA. It seems to be promising to use CAs for the automation of financial investment advisory. However, the design of such a financial CA and the effects of social cues on the interaction between financial CA and the customer are unclear.
Goal of the Thesis
The main goal of this thesis is to design a CA that provides financial advice in the form of robo-advisory. A consumer should be able to interact with the CA to receive feedback and suggestions on financial investments based on her/his personal situation. The robo-advisory process itself and the respective questions already exist and need to be instantiated in the form of the CA. The CA should be developed using existing frameworks and platforms, such as Microsoft’s Bot Framework, and leverage existing services such as Microsoft’s Cognitive Service Suite.
- Interest in human-computer interaction and financial automation (robo-advisory)
- Very good time management and organizational skills
- Good development skills (C# and/or Node.js experience is beneficial)
- Good English skills