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OCBC to roll out GenAI chatbot

Singapore’s OCBC Bank is rolling out a GenAI chatbot powered by Azure OpenAI to assist employees with writing, research and idea generation

Singapore’s OCBC Bank will roll out a generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) chatbot next month to assist 30,000 global employees with writing, research and idea generation.

Powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service, the GenAI chatbot, dubbed OCBC GPT, will leverage large language models to analyse queries and produce answers and results based on textual information on the internet.

OCBC said its chatbot will be hosted in a secure and controlled environment, ensuring that information entered by OCBC staff remains within the bank and inaccessible to Microsoft and external parties.

The launch of OCBC GPT follows a successful six-month trial in which 1,000 OCBC staff across various functions used the chatbot for tasks such as writing investment research reports, translating content into multiple languages, and drafting customer responses.

On average, employees reported that they were able to complete their tasks about 50% faster than before, including the time required to verify OCBC GPT's output for factual accuracy.

OCBC GPT is the latest in a series of initiatives by OCBC to harness GenAI for productivity gains. In May 2023, OCBC introduced OCBC Wingman, a coding assistant that has improved developers’ productivity by about 20%. Additionally, a pilot project is underway to test the use of a speech-to-text tool to transcribe and summarise customer calls in real time at OCBC’s contact centre.

Organisations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region have been intensifying their GenAI initiatives more than other parts of the world. According to a study by Enterprise Strategy Group and TechTarget, 75% of APAC respondents plan to adopt GenAI within the next 12 months, with nearly a third already running GenAI workloads in production or testing the technology.

Donald MacDonald, OCBC’s head of group data office, noted that GenAI tools can transform the way employees work by automating a range of time-consuming tasks, freeing up their time to focus on more strategic and value-added work. “This in turn helps us provide better customer service by spending more time building relationships with customers and developing innovative products and services,” he said.

In addition to GenAI, OCBC has been integrating AI into decision-making processes. Currently, over four million decisions at the bank are made by AI each day in areas such as risk management, customer service and sales. This number is projected to increase to 10 million by 2025.

The bank is also using AI to deliver personalised recommendations and insights to customers through its mobile banking app, as well as to identify suspicious transactions as part of its anti-money-laundering efforts.

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