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Published: Aug 18, 2023 5 min read
Illustration of a person letting a robot Ai manage their money
Rangely GarcĂ­a for Money

Investing in artificial intelligence is becoming popular, but what about artificial intelligence investing in you? According to new poll results shared exclusively with Money, Americans are becoming increasingly willing to let AI manage their personal finances as the technology goes mainstream.

Personal finance company Intuit Credit Karma conducted an online survey in early July, asking roughly 1,000 U.S. adults for their thoughts on using AI for managing their money.

What the data says

The Intuit Credit Karma data shows that Americans are warming up to mixing AI and money. Of the investors who responded to the survey, 4 in 10 say they think AI can be a useful tool for managing their finances.

For investors who have already used AI, this openness trends higher. Of the roughly one-quarter of respondents who have used AI before, 57% say they are willing to use the technology for financial purposes if it eliminates their money problems. In fact, one-third of this experienced bunch say that they would trust AI more than a human to manage their finances.

Of course, the level of money management people are willing to cede to AI is different from person to person. At least one-quarter of respondents say they would use it to help pay down debts, manage expenses and budgeting, or plan for retirement.

The most popular potential applications for the technology, though, seem to be more hands-off: Some 4 in 10 say they’d use AI simply to answer financial questions, while 3 in 10 want to use the technology to better understand their range of accounts and investments.

What it means

It might be surprising to see so much optimism toward AI, especially in letting it make financial decisions for investors. Not only is it a new concept to most people, but it's also been scrutinized for being incorrect and impersonal. This runs contrary to a longstanding emphasis on finding financial advisors who can tailor their expert guidance to each individual.

After all, other polls have shown a sizable distrust toward AI in making a number of other important decisions; a majority of people think humans are better than AI in anything from writing laws or doing jobs to simply picking out a decent work outfit.

A survey by insurance company Nationwide shows this skepticism doesn't fall short of the finance world: Some 35% of Americans say they don't see AI providing financial insight more valuable than a human expert's at all in the next five years.

Bottom line

Supriya Gupta, vice president of product at Intuit Credit Karma, theorizes that this welcoming attitude is simply people getting more familiar with the tech behind AI.

"Things that have the potential to change our everyday lives can feel scary," Gupta tells Money. "But, like we’ve seen with previous technological shifts, technology can make our lives easier."

Gupta goes on to say that generative AI technology has, to its own benefit, become increasingly accessible to investors. For years, AI seemed like nothing more than a buzzword or a technology used exclusively in lab settings. With the advent of tools like ChatGPT and Bard, however, people are growing accustomed to it in a way they hadn't before, perhaps increasing the trust reflected in the poll.

"When you apply this technology to more complex aspects of life — like finances — something nearly everyone struggles with, the promise of generative AI becomes even more meaningful for consumers," she says.

As for the still-skeptical investors out there, it looks as though more trust-building is still required. Some of those who are less willing to use AI say they are looking for institutions they already trust (banks and personal finance apps, for example) to build their own AI products.

Others say regulations would put them more at ease. Almost 4 in 10 say tighter rules and security are crucial to earning their trust. While there haven't been new federal regulations since the surge in popularity of AI bots, the White House has issued an "AI Bill of Rights" intended to protect consumers from misuse of the technology.

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