iOS app Android app More

IBM 'Watson' Computer To Work At Citigroup

Ibm Watson Citigroup

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/ 6/2012 11:34 am Updated: 03/ 6/2012 11:34 am

Banks don't exactly have stellar reputations for customer service.

Enter the robots.

On Monday, Citigroup announced that it would try to figure out how to advance "customer interactions" by using IBM's supercomputer 'Watson,' the robot that made its name by dominating humans on Jeopardy!

The nation's third largest bank, Citigroup, is the first to tap Watson's enormous data-crunching capabilities and is planning on using the supercomputer to "analyze customer needs and process financial, economic and client data to advance and personalize digital banking."

(We are not sure what it say about the state of banking that it takes a robot to make it personal.)

'Watson' can read 200 million pages in three seconds and learn information and answer questions like a human being. Citigroup said in a press release that it aims to become "the leading digital bank."

Citigroup can use the help. Its profit was 11 percent lower at the end of 2011 than over the same period a year earlier, and it plans to cut 4,500 jobs. Its chairman of 16 years, Richard Parsons, announced on Friday that he is stepping down.

IBM's stock price hit an all-time high at the end of trading on Monday, at $200.66 per share, according to The Wall Street Journal. The price of IBM shares is about 24 percent higher than it was a year ago, according to the Associated Press.

'Watson' already has started working in health care. IBM formed a board on Friday that will explore how 'Watson' can help the health care industry. 'Watson' started working for WellPoint, one of the country's largest health insurers, in September.

This is not the first time that IBM has worked with Citigroup. In 1954, IBM reduced the time necessary for a cost-benefit analysis at Citigroup from 1,000 man-hours to 9.5 minutes, according to the Associated Press.

'Watson' first caught the nation's attention by earning more than three times than both of its competitors on 'Jeopardy!,' who had won 'Jeopardy!' before, last February. Ken Jennings, who came in a distant second, wrote next to his correct Final Jeopardy answer, "I for one welcome our new computer overlords."

FOLLOW HUFFPOST BUSINESS