Impressed by the speed and accuracy with which Watson churned out answers (or rather, "questions") in its winning performance in the Jeopardy! Challenge last year?
Citigroup (C) was, too -- so much so that it has hired the supercomputer to assist its in-house, human financial professionals.
Under a partnership with IBM (IBM), Citi will use Watson's lightning-speed ability to crunch the equivalent of 1 million books-worth of information per second and process information in the context of human language.
Watson's New Career Path
Outside of its famed Jeopardy! appearance, where it trounced Jeopardy! uber-champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in a two-game, three-day event, Watson has largely stayed out of the public spotlight.
Most of its work has been behind the scenes in the medical field. Now Citi says it wants to assess ways to use a "first-of-a-kind customer interaction solution" with Watson's capabilities to advance its digital banking.
"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," says Don Callahan, Citi's chief administrative officer and chief operations and technology officer, in a statement.
Big Blue's clever machine could aid financial professionals in making better business decisions, crunching reams of data to offer up a targeted opportunities, risks and alternatives on a customer-by-customer basis.
On the consumer front, Watson's technologies could be used to improve interactions with customers, analyze their needs, and simplify their banking experience. It has yet to be determined what degree of direct interaction Watson will have with Citi customers in the financial services field.
Watson, however, isn't shy, and would likely do well with in face-to-face customer interactions. After all, it has its own Facebook and Twitter account. So what if it can't smile ...
Motley Fool contributor Dawn Kawamoto does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned. She did, however, tune into the Jeopardy! Challenge and rooted for the underdogs -- aka, humans. The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup.
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