BBVA experiments with AI to summarise customer conversations

2 martie 2021

BBVA tested OpenAI’s GPT-3, „one of the largest Artificial Intelligence (AI) language models ever created”, on ten Spanish customer conversations about banking. Without any previous customization, re-training or transfer learning whatsoever, the bank asked it to generate summaries that would be useful to any bank agent who joins (or retakes) the conversation.

GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) has demonstrated outstanding performance in very diverse natural language understanding and generation tasks. OpenAI, its creators, have released a limited open API that allows developers to test it.

„We test here its ability to generate useful summaries of conversations between a customer and one or more bank agents, a business case that would potentially save time to our customer-facing teams and improve customer experience. The tests were run on ten unedited Spanish conversations about banking extracted from publicly available online forums,” according to the press release.

Without any previous fine-tuning, transfer-learning or retraining on the domain’s data, the bank shows that in most cases GPT-3 Davinci manages to generate the desired summaries, identifying the core issue or question, the product or service involved, the recommendation or answer given and its state of completion.

„Despite the limited scope of the tests, the results are encouraging and suggest further exploration of the model’s value for our business,” BBVA said.

Business context

Companies are rapidly shifting towards an increasingly digital business-consumer relationship model. A large amount of the customer’s questions and complaints managed by BBVA bank agents is held in online text channels and is only expected to grow over time, along with voice calls.

Keeping track of these conversations, often involving more than one bank agent across different channels, can prove to be difficult and time-consuming, which suggests turning to automation for assistance. Now, while very high hopes are set on AI to assist humans in charge, the issues involved in these conversations are of the highest importance and sensitivity for our customers, which leaves little room for mistakes.

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