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Embracing Innovation & AI to Revolutionise Debt Advice Services

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at an inspiring event hosted by Ciptex and Twilio, titled “How AI Can Revolutionise Service Provision in the Not-for-Profit Sector and Other Innovations,” held in the historic lecture hall at Toynbee Hall. This venue is not just any place; it’s where the first public demonstration of Marconi’s Wireless Telegraphy took place in 1896 – a fitting backdrop for discussing groundbreaking advancements.

I had the opportunity to share some of the pioneering work Debt Free Advice is doing to revolutionise debt advice services through innovative technologies. Here are some of the key highlights:

Video Advice Kiosks:

Our video advice kiosks have been transformative, allowing thousands of customers to access free, impartial debt advice quickly. Deployed in strategic locations like town halls and employment support centres, these kiosks ensure people get the help they need without being shuffled from place to place. Our live demonstration from HMP Brixton was a particularly poignant moment, showcasing how we’re bringing video advice to those in prison, bridging a crucial support gap. HMP Brixton is the first prison we’ve entered, marking a UK first for delivering advice services this accessibly via video in a prison setting. This event featured the first public demonstration of video advice in a prison, a historic achievement that echoes the pioneering spirit of Toynbee Hall. I was also excited to announce that we will soon be expanding this initiative to three more prisons.

We are expanding our kiosks to support multiple agencies, enabling seamless service provision from one point. Future enhancements include document sharing and signing capabilities directly on the kiosk tablet, eliminating the need for paperwork exchanges and making the process even more efficient. This integration means that customers can get comprehensive support in one interaction, whether it’s health advice, employment support, or debt counselling. 

Introducing MoneyPennie – Our AI Assistant for frontline advisors:

I previewed MoneyPennie, our new AI assistant for advisors, built on MS Azure AI. MoneyPennie operates using a closed knowledge base, containing only the information we’ve provided. This means it doesn’t search the internet, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of our FCA-regulated service. It uses a restricted set of trusted information to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the advice given.

 MoneyPennie can quickly access our comprehensive advisor knowledge base, offering instant support to our team. This is particularly beneficial for less experienced advisors who can discreetly verify information without having to put the customer on hold or seek a supervisor’s assistance. During the event, I conducted a live demonstration where MoneyPennie handled a spontaneous question from the audience with remarkable speed and accuracy. The audience was amazed at MoneyPennie’s ability to provide precise and reliable information instantly, showcasing the potential of AI to enhance our services and support our advisors.

MoneyPennie exemplifies the principles of a short language model, designed to operate within a defined dataset. This design choice ensures consistent, regulated advice, free from the potential inaccuracies and risks associated with open internet searches. This is crucial in our field, where the accuracy of information can significantly impact our clients’ financial wellbeing.

Additionally, MoneyPennie incorporates advanced natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, allowing it to understand and respond to complex queries in real-time. This ensures that advisors receive contextually relevant and precise guidance, enhancing their confidence and effectiveness in handling client cases. Our approach aligns with the Enterprise Knowledge Retrieval Augmented Generation (EK-RAG) System, ensuring data privacy by hosting the LLM within our secure infrastructure and utilising our internal knowledge bases. This system guarantees that all responses are aligned with our organisation’s verified information and policies.

By providing instant, reliable support, MoneyPennie empowers our advisors to deliver better, faster, and more confident service. This innovative tool represents a significant step forward in our use of AI, demonstrating how technology can be harnessed to improve service delivery in the not-for-profit sector.

The event underscored the immense potential of leveraging technology to drive social impact. Our innovations, such as the video advice kiosks and MoneyPennie, highlight the importance of integrating user-friendly, effective solutions to meet the needs of our community. As we continue to expand these initiatives, our commitment to improving access to debt advice and support remains steadfast.

We invite you to join us on this journey. Whether you are interested in learning more about our initiatives, partnering with us, or exploring how our technologies can be integrated into your services, we are eager to connect. Together, we can leverage technology to create meaningful change and support those in need.

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