Rise of the Chatbots
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial recently announced that it has developed its very own chatbot. What are they for? Well, the banking giant apparently wants these artificially-intelligent bots to answer customer questions of the popular messaging app, Line.
According to Finews.asia, the chatbot, which was developed together with NTT Comm and Accenture, will be ready to chat with SMBC Nikko Securities customers later this month. It will initially guide customers in setting up accounts and help them with “IPOs, Nippon Individual Savings Accounts, and other issues.” I’m not entirely sure what “helping customers with IPOs” mean, but I think I can say with a modicum of certainty that it won’t be helping people spread comps and run DCFs for a potential fundraise. Or at least that’s what bankers are hoping.
In any case, IPOs and savings accounts won’t be the bot’s main competencies for long. As its inquiries and answers expand, so will its AI parameters, and among its first expansions will be to handle share price and investment trust queries.
Finextra reports that the AI engine – which comes from NTT Comm – can engage in “human-like dialogue” in order to field questions. For questions that it can’t handle however, a human will be brought in to tackle it.