ANZ and Royal Bank of Canada are 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.
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.
Since its TV debut, IBM says Watson has gained a 240% improvement in system performance, and a reduction in physical requirements by 75%, enabling the software to run on a single Power 750 server using Linux. Big Blue says that businesses which use Watson can have the system up and running quickly using a cloud computing environment, or deploy the technology on-premise.
The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor "Ask Watson" feature greets, and offers help to, customers via any channel, be it through a Website chat window or a mobile push alert. Calling upon IBM's Big Data Analytics technologies, Watson retrieves data about customers to help ensure interactions are tailored to their needs.
ANZ is planning to test the technology in its wealth management division, providing customer service agents with a troublesghooting engine that is responsive to the personal needs of individal clients.
"We envision Watson to serve as cognitive assistant, adept and quick at making sense of Big Data, that can empower our regional bank advisors to better serve our two million wealth management clients across the region," says Joyce Phillips, CEO global wealth and group managing director, marketing, innovation and digital, ANZ Banking Group. "We are pleased to explore with IBM how Watson can enable smarter, faster financial recommendations - yielding a customer experience that is simple, personalized and steeped in data-informed insights."