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March 4, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 7:45am

AI robot joins RBS help line to improve customer service

News: AI with a 'warm personality' will soon be dealing with customer problems.

By James Nunns

RBS is deploying advanced ‘human’ artificial intelligence to support relationships with small businesses.

The AI known as ‘Luvo’ is designed to help support staff to answer customer queries more quickly and easily.

It is capable of doing this because it can understand questions and then filter through large amounts of information in under a second before responding with an answer. Used through web chat, Luvo typically answers questions such as; my customer has locked their PIN – how do they unlock it? And how do I order a card-reader for my customer?

If the AI is unable to find the answer then it passes the query on to a member of staff that can solve more complex problems.

Although AI isn’t particularly new in banking, the ‘human’ like personality that has been created within Luvo is. The purpose of giving it more of a personality is to hopefully make it easier for employees to interact with it.

Luvo has had a psychological profile developed for it which is said to give a warm personality, make it approachable and creative. It also uses a combination of intuition and reasoning when answering questions.

What is a little strange for essentially a piece of software, Luvo needs to be trained when dealing with new subject matters, learning from mistakes over time and making its answers more accurate over time.

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Luvo was initially piloted among 1,200 staff over a two month period with staff that deal with managing relationships with small businesses, after the success of this trial it will now be rolled out more widely to support employees.

As it is more widely rolled out, RBS will explored whether Luvo can be used to answer questions direct from customers, with the goal of reducing waiting time for people waiting for a human advisor to be free to answer a simple question.

Simon McNamara, RBS Chief Administrative Officer said: "Luvo 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 Luvo could talk to customers directly to answer straightforward questions, freeing up time for our staff to answer complex issues."

This would help to free up staff to answer more complex questions while Luvo takes over dealing with the bulk work that requires less skill.

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