GenAI dazzles but there’s plenty more AI magic to come

Digital Reinvention
15/02/2024 Article

AWS and Banco Bradesco showcased the remarkable capabilities of GenAI. But they also cautioned companies to prepare for the arrival of even more powerful AI offerings.

Close to 200 leaders from financial services firms across the world joined a Qorus online event to learn how their peers are using GenAI to boost the performance of their businesses.

Around half the leaders at the event are working at companies that have started deploying GenAI.  Others are likely to see their firms roll out GenAI applications soon. They’re looking to use GenAI’s remarkable ability to learn, communicate and generate new content to enhance tasks such as personalised recommendations, customer service and document processing.

During the event, senior representatives from Amazon Web Services (AWS) shared their insights into how financial services firms can best capitalise on the enormous potential of GenAI. And Banco Bradesco executive, Rafael Forte Araújo Cavalcanti told how the Brazilian bank is using GenAI to enhance its already impressive AI capabilities.  

The online event was hosted by the Qorus Digital Reinvention community and its partner AWS.

"We’re about three steps into a 10K race."

Adam Selipsky, CEO, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

GenAI, together with other machine learning technologies, will transform the financial services industry and open new opportunities to create value and generate revenue, AWS’ Charith Mendis told participants in the event.

However, Mendis echoed the caution of the company’s CEO, Adam Selipsky. At a trade conference in Toronto last year, Selipsky highlighted the infancy of current AI products by declaring: "We’re about three steps into a 10K race.”

Mendis, who oversees AWS’ global banking business, urged companies to ensure they retain the flexibility to always choose the AI tools that best suits their needs. The GenAI tools coming onto the market now will likely be followed by more potent artificial intelligence products over the next three to five years. “It’s too early to pick which AI products will rule the market,” he said.

Alvin Huang, AWS’ executive responsible for AI in financial services, pointed out that GenAI is driving performance improvements in three key areas of business: customer experience, employee productivity and business processes. He shone the spotlight on five companies that have already developed impressive GenAI applications.

Customer experience

Principal: The US insurer is employing a combination of AI technologies, including GenAI, to review around 30 000 daily contact centre calls to create summaries, identify topic hierarchies and analyse customer sentiment.

Employee productivity

Bridgewater: The giant US asset management firm has used GenAI technology to develop an intelligent analysis tool that responds to natural language queries and searches the company’s internal and external data resources to provide researchers with investment market charts, financial indicators and summaries.

Verafin: The fraud detection specialist, a Nasdaq subsidiary, is using GenAI to help its analysts review suspicious online transactions. The introduction of GenAI has cut the analysts' time spent on manual fraud reviews from as much as 80% of their working day to less than 10%.

Business processes

Experian: The UK credit reference agency is using GenAI chat bots to search internal and external data sources to improve product development and support its engineers.

NatWest: The British bank is using GenAI to generate personalised marketing content and to then review and edit this information before distribution to ensure it complies with the company’s brand and compliance guidelines.

“Compared to traditional AI frameworks, the resilience and adaptability of GenAI is remarkable.”

Rafael Forte Araújo Cavalcanti, Chief Data and Analytics Officer

AI pioneer, Banco Bradesco is rolling out about 10 major GenAI applications across its business. 

Its GenAI intelligent platform has already boosted the bank’s customer service. Bradesco’s NPS score, for example, has soared from around 10 to an impressive 78 while the accuracy of customer responses to online interactions has climbed to 93%, said Rafael Forte Araújo Cavalcanti, Bradesco’s senior vice president responsible for data, analytics and AI.

Cavalcanti added that Bradesco is employing GenAI to improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making at its corporate, branch, card, legal, governance and operations units. 

“We are using GenAi to not only deliver unique experiences to our customers and teams. We are also using it to accelerate how we deliver those experiences,” he said. Each step of Bradesco’s agile product development cycle – plan, create, verify, production, release, configuration and monitor – is quicker because of the developers’ access to GenAI.  Code generation, testing and documentation have all improved.

“Compared to traditional AI frameworks, the resilience and adaptability of GenAI is remarkable,” said Cavalcanti.

Bradesco was one of the first big financial institutions to embrace AI. The bank began building its Bradesco AI (BIA) platform in 2015. It steadily scaled and enhanced the intelligent platform. By 2021, BIA had grown from a smart online Q&A facility to a full-service digital concierge serving the bank’s 20 million customers through contact centres, branches and multiple digital channels. Towards the end of 2022 BIA had processed around 2 billion transactions. 

“We did all this without GenAI,” said Cavalcanti.

When GenAI products such as ChatGPT burst onto the commercial market, Bradesco needed to take stock. The bank had the advantage of having already built considerable AI experience, expertise and resources. But it had also made big investments in AI infrastructure and services that incorporated established AI technologies. If Bradesco was to benefit from the arrival of GenAI and incorporate the new generation of AI products into its organization it needed a clear understanding of potential challenges such data quality and format requirements, integration complexities and scalability limits.

To better appreciate the impact of GenAI on its business and take advantage of the new technology, Bradesco divided its response into three “pillars” – business, structure and training. 

The bank organized information sessions so its business leaders could understand the capabilities and limitations of GenAI, identify how the company could use it to capitalise on new opportunities and to conduct experiments and pilot projects. Bradesco also addressed the technical requirements of GenAI by embarking on an infrastructure qualification process to ensure the new technology could meet the bank’s requirements and comply with its development environment. It also worked with service providers to establish a GenAI platform and created a governance framework for responsible AI. Alongside these two pillars, Bradesco conducted extensive training, as well hosting many presentations and workshops, to ensure leaders and other employees were ready for the roll out of new GenAI applications.

 “Choice is super important when you consider how early we are with GenAI.”

Alvin Huang, Worldwide Financial Services Specialist, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

“GenAI is one step on a long journey. It is far from being our first step but is it’s also far from being our last,” said Cavalcanti.

GenAI is unlikely to displace highly complex and specialised AI systems, such as applications for assessing customer creditworthiness or detecting fraud, that are already running at financial services firms, remarked AWS’ Huang. Such applications are expensive to replace and are already performing well. Instead, Huang believes companies should focus on embedding GenAI into end-to-end workflows to improve the speed, accuracy and effectiveness of key business processes. 

When developing GenAI solutions, it’s essential that companies continue maintain their standards of ethics and governance and adhere to the core principles of data privacy, encryption and security, warned Huang. Furthermore, they need to preserve the ability to switch, customise and compare different GenAI models, he added.

“Choice is super important when you consider how early we are with GenAI,” said Huang.

GenAI offers financial services firms tremendous opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their businesses. However, companies should exercise caution when deploying GenAI to ensure they retain the flexibility they will need to take advantage of even more powerful AI offerings in the future.

The Qorus Digital Reinvention community has entered into a partnership with AWS to help leaders in the financial services community gain a greater understanding of the potential and the challenges that AI poses to their organizations. Throughout 2024, they will present a series of conferences and online events that will examine the impact of AI on key aspects of the financial services industry – including ESG, SME Banking and Digital Reinvention. 

Interested to be a part of the Digital Reinvention Community? Let us know!

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Terezia Hapcova


Community Manager

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