UBS and Amazon Test Digital Tool

  Amazon Echo/Alexa (Picture: Amazon)

Amazon Echo/Alexa (Picture: Amazon)

Switzerland's UBS and Amazon are testing an interactive dialogue tool. And it is about much more than merely another chat function.

The project is an endeavor by the UBS Wealth Innovation Lab in Zurich, led by Dave Bruno. In cooperation with Amazon, the U.S. online warehouse, UBS wants to take its financial expertise to the client, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

The two companies are linking artificial intelligence with digital voice recognition. «Amazon Alexa», a voice service for the «Amazon Echo» hands-free speaker, will feature «Ask UBS», providing up-to-date answers to financial questions asked by users of the service. «Ask UBS» in November will be made available to a test group.

Looking Into Your Brain

«Amazon Echo» so far has been available in the U.S. and the U.K. and next will be launched in Germany. «Alexa» is providing news and data and also allows customers to operate household appliances that have a link with the Internet.

The new tool isn't the only artificial intelligence project by UBS. The laboratory in Zurich also has a project running with nViso, a Lausanne-based software company. The tool – dubbed «Emotionadvisor» – is designed to detect the wishes of customers simply by analyzing their facial expressions.

A Virtual World recently tested the «Rose» chatbot, launched in conjunction with the «New York Times». With these projects, UBS is testing the capabilities available for understanding voices and emotions as well as conducting dialogues in a bid to prepare the digital future of customer relations. The launch of the online asset consultant «UBS Smart Wealth» in the U.K. last week fits the overall strategy. It is operated without a single human consultant.

«Ask UBS could become an innovative way to cut through the jargon clutter and bring financial expertise in a new and appealing way directly into people's lives,» said Dirk Klee, chief operating officer at UBS wealth management. «Our pilot with Amazon Alexa is an exciting start into the journey towards virtual assistants and improved client interaction.»


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