Citibank has entered into an agreement with IBM to explore possible uses for Big Blue's Watson supercomputer in mining customer data.
IBM's Watson machine caused a stir last year 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.
Citi says it will evaluate ways that the technology can help decipher customer needs by sifting through huge quantities of up-to-the-minute financial, economic, product and client data.
Don Callahan, Citi's chief administrative officer and chief operations & technology officer, says: "We are working to rethink and redesign the various ways in which our customers and clients interact with money. We will collaborate with IBM to explore how we can use the Watson technology to provide our customers with new, secure services designed around their increasingly digital and mobile lives."
He says Citi will assess ways to use "a first-of-a-kind customer interaction solution combined with Watson's deep-content analytics, natural language processing, decision support, and evidence-based learning".