Posted on: July 11, 2018
With how complex a lot of VA products can be, the Veterans Affairs Department has been looking for ways to improve their service to make things smoother for veterans.
As technology continues to become more advanced, the VA has turned its attention toward something that sounds straight out of a sci-fi film.
On July 2, the VA announced a request to research how artificial intelligence can assist with the VA loan process. While the VA is still far from having AI run VA loans, it’s a step that could end up helping veterans by saving them time while saving the VA valuable resources.
But how exactly would veterans interact with an AI, and how could this help speed up the home loan process?
Some veterans might be afraid that AI could completely replace people, making the VA loan process less human. As things stand, we’re far from having an artificial intelligence decide whether or not a veteran is eligible to buy a home – so you can still count on working with a lender you trust.
The goal with the AI system would be to act as an intermediary to help veterans get information. Instead of having to call a human representative to ask questions, the AI would be able to learn from past experiences and give the correct information. The AI would already have a lot to work with, too – all previous VA loan data in the system would serve as a basis.
As the VA describes it, the AI system would work like a chatbot. Veterans would be able to call or text the chatbot and get accurate information almost immediately. As more veterans use the system, the AI will learn and will only get better at providing the right information.
If all works well, it should speed up the process of giving accurate information to veterans who are looking to purchase a home. However, AI technology companies must first respond to the VA’s request. Also, there is no timeline for when this program could begin research, let alone be used for real-world loans.
Veterans who are worried that an AI would threaten their security should rest easy. The AI will only have access to so much information, much like how a lender can only see so much of your private information.
If artificial intelligence seems farfetched, you might be surprised to hear that this isn’t the first time the VA has turned their attention to AI.
Just last year, the VA formed a partnership with DeepMind, a leader in artificial intelligence. DeepMind was hired to analyze health records of the VA’s healthcare with the goal of finding a quicker, cheaper way to provide the proper healthcare services to veterans.
The VA’s new research into artificial intelligence and how it could help VA loans would also be applicable to healthcare. In a similar fashion to helping VA home buyers, the AI would assist veterans with some healthcare questions that could be answered over the phone.
Healthcare is no stranger to AI, either. As many as 35% of hospitals plan to implement AI over the next few years in order to provide better service.
The AI could also potentially be used for other purposes as well, such as helping veterans with transitioning or providing education or training.
Aside from services to veterans, AI has already started to become implemented in combat by the military.