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NatWest partners with IBM for generative AI assistant

NatWest generative AI
Image credit: Miha Creative / Shutterstock

NatWest has upgraded its virtual assistant Cora to use generative AI through a partnership with tech giant IBM.

According to the bank, its customer support robot can now retrieve information on products, services and jobs.

“We are a relationship bank in a digital world, building trusted, long-term relationships with our customers through meaningful and personalised engagement,” said Wendy Redshaw, chief digital information officer at NatWest Group.

NatWest said user queries will receive replies in a “more natural, conversational style” and with added links. Banking customers will still be able to pick up the phone and speak with a real person.

Cora has gained its new generative AI tools by accessing IBM’s AI platform, watsonx. Generative AI is advanced artificial intelligence capable of generating new outputs such as text or images in response to user requests.

While generative AI has been embraced by businesses, it has not been without risk. Systems are known to produce errors, known as ‘hallucinations’.

John Duigenan, engineer and general manager at IBM, said: “With the appropriate guardrails and governance in place ensuring that AI is open, trusted and targeted, banks can deliver an empowering value proposition enabling an even deeper level of customer loyalty.”

Read more: UKTN’s guide to generative AI.