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Robot Bank of Scotland: UK lender introduces ‘warm, approachable’ AI to talk to customers

Monitoring hyper-automation

The majority state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to become the first British high-street bank to use a sophisticated AI program, nicknamed Luvo, to communicate with its customers, as it cuts its human staff.

After a several-month trial in which staff used the AI internally, while they dealt with business clients, RBS will let Luvo talk directly to the outside world by the end of 2016.

Luvo functions as a chatbot – a program that opens when you access the bank’s website – that you can ask typical customer service questions, concerning lost PINs and credit cards that need to be replaced.

At first glance, this is nothing extraordinary, and chatbots have become a frequent feature for websites dealing with a large flow of individual queries.

But RBS and IBM, which spent millions developing the program together, say that it is revolutionary, with a nuanced understanding of human speech, a “unique” personality, and an ability to learn on the job.

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