Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is studying the use of generative AI to create 'synthetic customers' capable of emulating human behaviour, to test the response to new products and services.
Speaking at South by Southwest in Sydney, CBA chief decision scientist Dan Jermyn said: “Generative AI enables machines to process, interpret and use patterns to create new outputs. We’re using this advanced technology to explore creating customer personas or ‘synthetic agents’, where GenAI chatbots act as an early experimentation tool.
“By drawing on simulated experiences of daily life to emulate behaviours, we’re testing whether these GenAI chatbots could provide qualitative and quantitative understanding of how customers might respond to changing contexts, everyday financial challenges, and new products."
He says the technology ultimately could help the bank to get a better product or service in front of customers earlier.
Using data from behavioural science studies over the past 40 years, Jermyn's team of AI experts and behavioural scientists are initially looking at how GenAI could be used to test how people respond in challenging situations where customer research is typically more difficult.
“We’re looking at harnessing GenAI to understand what products and services may be most needed during different types of natural disasters by simulating the actions and needs of customers during these difficult times,” he said. “We are also looking at how we can use GenAI to better understand what messaging would be most effective for helping customers in vulnerable situations - such as when customers are potentially being scammed, or when they experience a loss in the family.”