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Between the news cycle and the movie industry, AI is often painted with a malicious brush and understandably, many people are fearful of its place in the world. The reality is, however, that AI can be — and already is — a helpful tool that can positively change how Canadians handle their finances.

Artificial intelligence (AI) remains a largely misunderstood science, and myths about its power — and the intentions of its creators — abound. In truth, AI isn’t capable of taking over every job, controlling the world or learning to function like the human brain. However, one task it is capable of is helping Canadians manage their money better.

The role of AI in personal financial management

AI-powered financial apps can automate and simplify complex processes to make financial management easier and more accessible for the average Canadian. They can automatically categorize transactions, track expenses, and generate financial reports. AI-powered budgeting tools can analyze past spending patterns and provide real-time insights, making budgeting more accurate and efficient.

How AI is already having an impact

Canadian financial institutions are already using AI-powered tools to help their clients manage their money more effectively. For example, if you’ve ever received an alert that you’re nearing your credit limit or that there’s been unusual activity on your account, that’s AI at work for you. All the data-driven insights are generated and personalized to your finances to make it easier for you to stay connected to your money.

Some Canadians have bought in. Others aren’t quite so sure

According to a new Ipsos survey by RBC, younger Canadians aged 18-34 have a strong, positive perception of AI’s utility. These younger Canadians are more inclined to use AI-based benefits, such as automated savings, budgeting, insights and cash flow forecasting, with 65 per cent of this demographic finding AI useful in expedited bill payments through reminders.

On the other hand, older Canadians appear more wary. Only 38 per cent of those aged 35-44 and 11 per cent of those aged 55+ are open to using AI-powered apps or services for future personal financial management.

Yet, while 75 per cent of survey participants showed some skepticism about AI’s abilities, many may be using AI without knowing it, especially given that its influence is subtly and steadily increasing.

An optimistic future

For those who understand or have used AI in the past, the survey reveals that trust in AI applications is strong. In fact, Canadians who are knowledgeable about AI are 34% more likely to use AI in the future than those who aren’t (Knowledgeable 51% vs Not knowledgeable 16%).This indicates that with increased awareness and understanding, more and more will adopt AI for their personal use, including their financial management.

The results of the survey point to an optimistic future where AI is more widely accepted, understood and adopted. For those looking to more easily and accurately manage their money, this can only be a good thing.