RBS installs advanced ‘human’ AI to help staff answer customer queries

RBS installs advanced ‘human’ AI to help staff answer customer queries

RBS has today announced that a two month trial of advanced ‘human’ artificial intelligence has been successful and it is to be rolled out more widely to support employees.

The AI answers RBS employee questions through webchat.


Piloted among 1,200 staff who manage relationships with small businesses, the AI is able to understand questions and then filter through huge amounts of information in a split second before responding with the answer. If the AI is unable to find the answer, it passes the query on to a member of staff who can solve more complex problems. It will support staff to help them answer customer queries more quickly and easily.

Typical questions it answers with staff, through web chat include:

  • My customer has lost their card – what steps do they need to take now?
  • My customer has locked their PIN – how do they unlock it?
  • How do I order a card-reader for my customer?

Whilst banks have been using artificial intelligence for some time, this AI is unique in that a ‘human’ like personality has been created for it. This makes it easier for employees to interact with and seek help from. Its unique psychological profile means it has a warmth to its personality, is approachable, creative and uses a combination of intuition and reasoning when answering questions.

Like humans, it has to be trained when dealing with new subject matter, but crucially, it learns from its mistakes and its answers become more accurate over time.

In the months to come, RBS will be exploring if the AI could be used to answer questions direct from customers – although this will only be considered after small, voluntary, customer pilots. This could reduce the need for people to wait for a human advisor to be free to answer a simple question and at the same time free up time for staff to answer more complex problems.

Commenting Simon McNamara, RBS Chief Administrative Officer said:

“This is a really exciting new technology that brings artificial intelligence to life and will help our staff serve customers better by resolving their questions and problems much more quickly. Its potential is huge and we’ll be exploring if it could talk to customers directly to answer straightforward questions, freeing up time for our staff to answer complex issues.”

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