UBank launches AI robot for home loan applications

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UBank launches AI robot for home loan applications

Chatbot underpinned by Watson technology.

NAB's online banking operation UBank has built an artificial intelligence chatbot for home loan applications, underpinned by IBM's Watson technology.

UBank has been continually feeding data collected from customer queries submitted to its LiveChat function into the RoboChat bot to train it.

Robochat is located on the home loans section of the UBank website, and is now able to handle "thousands" of questions and responses, the bank said.

However, UBank pointed out that RoboChat was "still in training" and would become more intelligent over time as more data is fed into it as a result of greater customer engagement.

UBank built Robochat with the Watson Conversation API to provide natural language responses to customer queries.

The chatbot can answer questions on 40 home loan topics ranging from "what term do you offer on home loans" to whether the bank provides a redraw facility and what conditions are involved.

The bank hopes the chat function will be able to reduce the time it takes to complete a home loan application by providing answers to queries in real-time.

“If you’ve gathered all of your paperwork, the form can be completed in as little time as it takes you to have your breakfast," UBank CEO Lee Hatton said in a statement.

UBank stressed that the robot chat function would not result in any reduction in customer service staff.

UBank is one of a number of enterprises to turn to bots to automate tasks.

Companies like Optus, Domino's, and Deakin University are similarly deploying bot technology on the front-line to assist end users, while CBA and Telstra are adopting the technology at scale across their wider operations.

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