Citi considering supercomputer analytics

Citigroup is planning to use an IBM Watson supercomputer to drive better analytics.

The financial services giant, which has 200 million customer accounts globally, has signed an agreement with IBM for access to the technology, and the two are in exploratory talks on uses.

Citi plans to examine the use of deep content analysis and evidence-based learning capabilities, as part of a bid to help advance customer interaction and simplify the banking experience. It interacts with customers in wide variety of forums, including in branches, on the phone, via cash machines, through live webchat, and online and mobile banking.

It intends to analyse customer needs and better process vast amounts of up-to-the-minute financial, economic, product and client data.

The Watson supercomputer can analyse the meaning and context of human language, and quickly process vast amounts of information to suggest options targeted to a consumers' individual circumstances. It is expected to help Citi to accelerate and assist decision makers in identifying opportunities, evaluating risks and exploring alternative actions that are best suited.

Don Callahan, chief operations and technology officer at Citi, said: "We are working to rethink and redesign the various ways in which our customers and clients interact with money. We will collaborate with IBM to explore how we can use the Watson technology to provide our customers with new, secure services designed around their increasingly digital and mobile lives."

Citi and IBM have worked together for half a century. In 1954, the two companies announced the first use of an early computer that they called an "electronic brain", which reduced the time required for a cost-benefit analysis from 1,000 man-hours to nine-and-a-half minutes.

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