USAA enlists IBM's Watson to help military personnel transition to civilian life
25 July 2014 | 6276 views | 1
Online army bank USAA has begun using IBM's Watson cognitive computing platform to help military personnel ease back into civilian life.
IBM's Watson machine caused a stir two years ago when it beat two human competitors to claim the $1 million prize on the US quiz show Jeopardy.
Unusually for a computer programme, Watson excels at analysing the meaning and context of human language, aligned with the ability to quickly process vast amounts of information.
Now, USAA is putting the technology to more practical use through a pilot, feeding Watson more than 3000 documents on topics exclusive to military transitions.
Customers visiting the USAA site can 'Ask Watson' questions, such as 'Can I be in the reserve and collect veterans compensation benefits?' and the machine will comb through the data to find answers.
Shon Manasco, EVP, member experience, USAA, says: "Through this experience, we expect to learn how intelligent assistants like IBM Watson can help service members who may not know exactly where or how to start the daunting transition process."
USAA isn't the first financial institution to try to tap into Watson's powers. Singapore's DBS Bank recently started using the platform at its wealth management business in a bid to improve the advice and experience delivered to affluent customers.
In May last year, ANZ and Royal Bank of Canada said they were working with IBM to test the capabilities of Watson Engagement Advisor for crunching account data and providing clients with relevant, nuanced answers to online and mobile queries.