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Citigroup investigates how IBM Watson can smarten up banking

Cliff Saran

Citigroup is evaluating technology from IBM Watson to help it improve customer service, using big data analytics.

The system is no ordinary CRM, as Watson famously won the US games show “Jeopardy” against live contestants. It was designed to rival a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence

Citi will investigate how the Watson technology, called “deep content analysis and evidence based learning”can be used to improve customer interactions at the bank. Citigroup, which has been working with IBM computers since 1954, hopes the system will improve and simplify the banking experience.

Citi will evaluate ways that IBM Watson technologies can help analyse customer needs and process vast amounts of up-to-the-minute financial, economic, product and client data.

Don Callahan, Citi's CTO, said: "We are working to rethink and redesign the various ways in which our customers 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."

According to IBM, through the collaboration the two companies will explore how applying Watson in the consumer financial market could help empower financial professionals to make better business decisions . For instance, Watson's ability to analyse the meaning and context of human language, and quickly process vast amounts of information to suggest options targeted to a consumers' individual circumstances, could help accelerate and assist decision makers in identifying opportunities, evaluating risks, and exploring alternative actions that are best suited for their clients, IBM said.


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