A joint innovation agreement between CaixaBank and Microsoft has produced an artificial intelligence (AI) Innovation Lab, with the purpose of applying the technology to new financial solutions as well as creating new work environments within the metaverse.
Located in Barcelona, the laboratory will work in coordination with Microsoft’s AI Research and Development (R&D) hub, also situated in the Spanish city, and the IT subsidiary of CaixaBank.
The purpose of the laboratory’s creation will be to develop concept tests, prototypes and use cases to explore how the application of AI technologies can integrate within financial services.
Some of the first co-innovation projects identified will focus on improving AI models by using new and emerging technologies that are currently being researched, as well as projects to incorporate AI into routine processes.
Such initiatives aim to improve efficiency, customer experience and cybersecurity; among other areas of considered development.
An example of these projects is the creation of a ‘cyberassistant’ that could help employees and back-office units to reduce low-value-added tasks so they can devote more time to their main activities.
The laboratory will also allegedly explore how the application of user interface systems so that both customers and employees can communicate with the bank’s technology using plain language.
The partnership has expressed its intention to dabble in emerging metaverse technologies to create interactive virtual environments that offer immersive experiences, with applications improving customer and employee experience and in the implementation of hybrid work environments.
The financial sector has already realised the possibilities associated with the metaverse, from the creation of interaction channels enhancing customer experience to the creation of internal collaboration models in virtual branches and the incorporation and development of talent.
Working with the likes of Microsoft will help CaixaBank to “accelerate product development and give us real solutions that rely on the most innovative technology in this field, making it available to our customers and employees,” comments Luis Javier Blas Agüeros, the bank’s media director.
“The combination of CaixaBank’s in-depth knowledge of financial markets with Microsoft’s experience in AI and other innovative technologies will make it easier to develop solutions that will transform the experience of financial services customers,” added Alberto Granados, president of Microsoft Spain.
As part of the co-innovation agreement between the two companies, CaixaBank and Microsoft will define a series of training curriculums for the professionals of the bank’s technical and business departments, including the AI Business School for Financial Services, a training programme which aims to provide strategic knowledge on the impact of applying AI to financial services. Technical training on the cloud, security, data management and AI will also be enhanced.