Wealth management clients visiting a UBS branch in Switzerland will soon be able to get advice from an AI-powered avatar of the bank's chief investment officer.
UBS has teamed up with IBM and avatar biometrics outfit FaceMe to build two "animated digital assistants", which will now be tested over three months.
The first, dubbed Fin, is a non-human looking figure that will appear on screens and talk, in German, to clients that visit the branch, helping them to solve basic issues such as updating a new credit card or billing address, on the spot.
The second, is Daniel Kalt, named after the regional chief investment officer, Switzerland at UBS Global Wealth Management. Kalt was photogrammetrically captured using more than 100 digital SLR cameras in a special lighting setup to build an accurate avatar.
Tapping IBM's Watson technology, the fake Kalt will use information given to it by the real Kalt to answer wealth management clients' more complex questions about the market. The bank has trained 10 advisors at a Zurich branch to use the digital Kalt with 100 clients.
UBS says that it has deliberately designed Fin and Daniel Kalt with a different set of characteristics to discover in what scenarios each type of assistant best meets the needs of the clients.
"Financial services is increasingly becoming a digital-first industry with the rapid adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, and cloud to help improve the customer experience.
"UBS Companion sees, hears and understands clients to help advisors radically improve their experiences," says Matthias Hartmann, GM, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, IBM.