Credit Suisse has added a new member to its IT support team - Amelia, an AI-powered virtual agent who helps thousands of the bank's human employees with their day-to-day tech problems.
Credit Suisse hired Amelia from AI specialist IPsoft and put together a team of data scientists, neuro-linguistic programmers, neuroscientists, linguists, application builders, business-process analysts to train her up to work on its help desk.
First, the bank built up her vocabulary, then familiarised her with its processes and systems to help diagnose problems and decide whether she can fix them.
While IT staffers have built up a reputation in some quarters for less than stellar interpersonal skills, Amelia has an algorithm to help her avoid irritating the people seeking her help.
Credit Suisse says that, unlike her human colleagues, Amelia takes no breaks or holidays. She responds to text requests in English 24/7, helping with the common yet simple problems that amount to nearly half of all support requests: email is stuck, password needs resetting, Wifi will not work.
While Amelia will learn to take on more complex problems, the bank says that, despite their disadvantages, human IT support staff are still very much needed, insisting that the fleshy creatures prefer working on more challenging puzzles.