Big Six bank files AI patent that predicts consumer purchases

By James Burton

The Royal Bank of Canada is looking to patent a number of AI inventions, including one that could predict when consumers are about to make major purchases, according to a report in the Financial Post.

Canada’s largest bank has filed several applications, which were made public, with one patent application describing a computer system that could receive transaction data and create “structured” data in which purchases are identified and labelled. A “recurrent neural network” would then be trained to build a model that could be used to predict the likelihood of a purchase.

The system will allow a computer processor receiving raw data from sources such as retailers or banks. As another example, “bureau information” about loans that were taken out by clients could be fed in as well.

The Financial Post report added that this process could be assisted by labelling done through “data mining”, which then helps to identify a product purchase based on who the merchant is and the amount spent.

Once a model is trained and stored it “may be used to provide inference for purchase prediction, for example, on new clients who are waiting to be scored on their likelihood to buy a vehicle, a home, a vacation, or the like, and thus predicts the likelihood of various upcoming transactions,” the patent description said.

A similar set-up could also be used to help direct “targeted and relevant” advertising campaigns at clients, “who would otherwise find campaigns an annoyance,” the filing added.

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