Before technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the concept of “intelligence” existed solely in the realm of biology. Today, most people are familiar with the notion of AI systems executing tasks that once required a human brain (only far more efficiently). This intelligence has benefited financial companies around the world, but it’s not the only neurological function that machines are learning to perform — nor the only one that is transforming how banking is done.

Autonomics is a concept that has been central to neural biology for nearly a century (in fact, the book The Autonomic Nervous System by British Physiologist John Newport Langley which first coined the phrase “autonomic nervous system” [ANS] is just three years shy of its 100th birthday). The ANS oversees vital biological processes even when we’re not consciously aware of them (things like a heartbeat, liver functions, or breathing-while-sleeping). Autonomic computing is a sub-branch of AI which refers to digital systems that govern vital processes with limited human intermediation — tasks related to self-repair, self-optimization and even self-creation.

When we refer to our enterprise framework 1Desk as the “autonomic backbone” of a company, we are referring to its power to execute repetitive tasks across an organization with little-to-no human oversight — just as the ANS executes tasks with limited-to-no conscious control. 1Desk facilitates workflows across departments and therefore sidesteps human middleware. This technical paradigm increases efficiency and improves output, while minimizing overhead — all through a single investment.

This level of scaled digital optimization can be uniquely powerful in banking systems, which need to reliably and securely process huge amounts of transactions securely around the world. Here’s a few ways that autonomics will continue to transform banking industry as we know it.

No more outages

Just as the human immune system locates and repairs injuries without ever being consciously told to do so, an autonomic system can monitor for problems and proactively address them without direction along the way.

For example, IPvoice is an autonomic component of 1Desk that oversees Unified Communications (UC) throughout an organization. IPvoice monitors for UC problems and addresses them proactively without human intermediation. When an outage is detected, IPvoice prompts specialized virtual agents to respond, diagnose and remediate issues. This comprehensive level of autonomics enables UC systems to independently “self-heal” in the wake of unpredictable disruptive events (e.g. storms, blackouts, floods, etc.). This functionality ensures that all systems — be they internal- or external-facing — will always be available.

Nimble security

Not only does the human body fix injuries automatically, it also sends anti-bodies to fight off infections. Just as autonomic functionality can protect organizations against unpredictable acts of nature or disruptive technical failures, they can also limit damage from bad players attempting to cause harm.

For example, if an autonomic system notices a spike in transfers from multiple accounts to a previously unknown offshore account, this may indicate a phishing scheme. Noticing this behavior, the system could automatically place all affected transfers on hold and proactively contact the account holders and/or the internal security team to freeze the transfers and investigate further.

Amplify the potential of individual users

In biological settings, if an individual consciously decides to walk down the block to a store, the autonomic system will support this goal by handling all of the breathing, blinking and heartbeats along the way. Similarly, a single individual can issue top-level commands and autonomic digital systems can handle executing all the low-level transactional and cognitive tasks to execute the desired tasks. This process is made easier by the inclusion of digital colleagues like Amelia whose industry-leading Natural Language Interface empowers all users — regardless of technical know-how — to issue commands through the medium most comfortable to them: conversation.

With an autonomic backend, a single user is empowered to accomplish much more than they ever could on their own. For example, a marketing manager for a bank could tell the autonomic system via Amelia, “For the next three months, send the marketing email describing our new checking account offer with unlimited free transfers to all customers who make more than three transfers per week, and send me a report with conversion rates every Thursday.” In most scenarios, executing these actions might require the work of numerous individuals across numerous teams, with all the inherent lag in-between steps. Now it can happen just by interacting directly with the cognitive front-end of an autonomic backbone.

Overall, autonomic platforms like 1Desk open the potential for financial institutions to operate with the same efficiency and power of the human body.