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NatWest Set to Launch Cora+: The Next Generation AI Chatbot for Enhanced User Interactions

Summary

NatWest is gearing up to launch Cora+, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that aims to provide a higher level of human interaction to users following the closure of hundreds of bank branches in recent years. Developed using IBM’s innovative technology, […]

NatWest Set to Launch Cora+: The Next Generation AI Chatbot for Enhanced User Interactions

NatWest is gearing up to launch Cora+, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that aims to provide a higher level of human interaction to users following the closure of hundreds of bank branches in recent years. Developed using IBM’s innovative technology, Cora+ leverages “generative” AI technology similar to that used by ChatGPT, allowing it to engage in human-like conversations with users seeking banking information. This enhanced chatbot, known as Cora+, builds upon NatWest’s current digital assistant available on its website.

The company’s Cora+ bot will be able to explain product details and services to users in a conversational manner, providing useful information and links to services. This expansion of the chatbot tool comes at a time when there are concerns about AI robots potentially replacing millions of jobs in offices. However, NatWest has made it clear that it will always be possible to speak to a customer service representative over the phone.

NatWest Group, which includes Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, has closed 1314 branches since 2015, according to consumer group Which?. In September, it was confirmed that an additional 143 locations would be closed between 2023 and 2024.

“With this upgrade, we aim to significantly enhance the human touch that users experience when using the Cora chatbot,” stated Wendy Redshaw, Chief Digital Information Officer in NatWest’s retail division.

Addressing concerns about the potential impact of AI tools on jobs, a NatWest spokesperson said: “That is not our objective; we foresee AI being used alongside our colleagues in the future to increase productivity and improve the user experience. If Cora can’t assist, we will direct users to our support colleagues.”

Regarding the broader impact of AI, Paul Taylor, Director of Management at IBM, stated: “Do we expect mass job replacement? Not really. We see people using AI to enhance what they do and do things better, rather than being replaced by it.”

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