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Deep Dive: Chatbots and conversational AI struggle to keep up during pandemic

  • AI and chatbots have been vaunted as customer service solutions for years.
  • But the pandemic showed just how far these tools are from really making a difference for customers.
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Deep Dive: Chatbots and conversational AI struggle to keep up during pandemic

Call volumes into banks have gone up 10x during the pandemic. Wait times have been hours at the peak of the crisis. Chatbots and other forms of conversational AI have been deployed to help. But they’re not quite there yet.

Tearsheet’s Sara Toth Stub recently wrote a story about where chatbots are useful and where they aren’t. After a lot of hype, they are providing some real value but it will be years before the technology approaches human customer service reps.

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Robinhood is an online stock brokerage that offers its customers commission free trading and investing. Robinhood users can invest and trade in stocks, exchange traded funds, options, and cryptocurrency. Customers can invest in over 5,000 stocks with Robinhood, including most U.S. equities and ETFs listed on U.S. exchanges.

Robinhood Financial, LLC and Robinhood Crypto, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. All cryptocurrency holdings are held in Robinhood Crypto as opposed to Robinhood Financial.

The company was founded in 2013 by Stanford roommates Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev. It has its headquarters in Menlo Park California and offices in the U.S and the UK.

Account Types

Robinhood’s products are accessible through its three different accounts: Robinhood Instant, Robinhood Gold and Robinhood Cash.

Robinhood Instant

Robinhood Instant is the default Robinhood account which is a margin account that has access to extended hours trading and instant deposits. Robinhood Instant account users do not have to wait for funds to process while selling stocks or depositing up to $1000.

Robinhood Gold

Robinhood Gold comprises a range of investing tools and premium products such as greater instant deposits starting at $5000 to a max of $50k, research from Morningstar on 1700 stocks, Level II Market Data from Nasdaq and more access to trading on margin. It has greater buying power and larger instant deposits as compared to the Robinhood Instant account.


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