Remember Watson, the lovably brainy IBM computer that competed on Jeopardy! and comically mispronounced words but beat the human contestants at the game? IBM has been trying to sell the technology packed into Watson — a combination of search, natural language processing and business intelligence tools combing millions of scanned documents and web pages — to banks during the year since the Jeopardy! episodes aired.
The first win was announced today — Citigroup has entered into an agreement with IBM to explore possible uses for Watson, which was named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson. Citi will examine the use of Watson to analyze customer needs and process financial, economic, product and client data.
"At Citi, we are constantly developing new, innovative ways to better serve our customers' financial needs," says Don Callahan, Citi's chief administrative officer and chief operations and technology officer. "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 since 1954, when the two companies announced the first use of an "electronic brain" that reduced the time required for a cost-benefit analysis from 1,000 man-hours to nine and a half minutes.