Women in AI
Amanda Amaral experienced firsthand the potential of Conversational AI during a recent family getaway to Niagara Falls. Two days before her anticipated stay, she received a text message from her hotel's chatbot, letting her know that the staff were anticipating her arrival, providing tips, event calendars, policies, and FAQs. What seemed like a simple notification turned into an even more dynamic experience when she arrived. Through this platform, Amanda was able to remotely check in, receive an alert when her room was ready, ask questions, request room service, and receive tailored messages and offers based on her preferences.
"It was eye opening to experience how easily AI can be integrated into our lives and how instantaneous the value can be – it definitely allowed my family more time to focus on what mattered."
Today, as Manager of Omni Technology Strategy & Conversational AI at TD, Amanda aims to deliver comparably convenient AI-based customer and employee journeys for one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
“Oftentimes, banking journeys can be complex – from finding the right mortgage to filing an insurance claim, each journey is unique and can require many different touch points throughout,” she explains. “AI can help guide people through these experiences by providing timely advice and resolutions. Customers are used to getting answers immediately and they expect no less from their banks. AI allows us to be there for our customers 24/7, while also delivering cost savings and operational efficiencies for the bank."
Currently, Conversational AI has been implemented in many areas across TD, including within their insurance business, employee IT help desk, and most notably, on their mobile app where customers can use TD's chatbot "Clari" to answer questions, get account spending details, and receive personalized insights.
Like TD's AI applications, Amanda also has deep roots at TD with her career spanning multiple lines of business. “Considering the enormity of the bank and the vast opportunities housed within it, I’ve never had to go outside of TD to accumulate a wealth of experiences and enjoy a fulfilling, diverse career,” she says.
Amanda’s career journey didn’t start with an interest in technology. She studied Economics and Psychology at the University of Toronto and worked in various areas of the bank throughout her career including retail, customer and distribution strategy, and compliance. However, as her career progressed, she was drawn into the field of technology. She now leads both Women in Technology and Women in Leadership committees at TD, and advocates for greater representation of women in STEM fields.
"It is extremely important for us as parents, educators, and role models to encourage our children – both boys and girls – to explore many different areas of interest and not accept any preconceived notions of what they'd like or dislike about them until they try it for themselves," she says. “AI and chatbots are relatively new to enterprise; it is not where I had expected I'd land in my career but it has been an exciting ride and now I can't picture myself anywhere else. Innovation, robots, and machine learning – what's not to love?”