IPavlov project to deliver AI applications for Sberbank

Maria Nikolova

Conversational artificial intelligence is on the cards for Sberbank by 2020.

FinanceFeeds has kept its readers informed about the latest advances of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the financial services sector. Russia’s Sberbank, or Sberbank Rossii PAO (MCX:SBER), has been one of the proponents of this trend, as it has recently announced its plans to replace as many as 3,000 of its employees by a robot lawyer.

The bank is now making further strides in the AI field by signing a partnership agreement with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). The partnership is aimed at the implementation of a joint project code-named “IPavlov” (What a name! Does not it remind you of a scientist that experimented with dogs? – Ed).

The project seeks to create cutting-edge technologies in the area of neural network artificial intelligence, including “conversational” artificial intelligence. Unlike traditional symbol-processing machines, neural networks are able to learn. With regards to this capability of neural networks, Sberbank and MIPT plan to develop learning algorithms taking into consideration the architectural principles of brainwork. This should happen by 2020. Also, by that time, the partners are looking to develop and prepare for the implementation a “conversational” AI system in the form of a technological platform. This platform is set to enable the automation of targeted dialogue with the user.

Talking to a robot will become a piece of trivia.

Commenting on the partnership, the CEO and Executive Chairman of the Board of Sberbank Herman Gref said that IPavlov will result in the development of new business applications, which will be integrated in Sberbank’s work.

Such a powerful push into the implementation of robotics in various banking processes seems to have its darker side, however, as clients of Russian banks have been increasingly complaining of their accounts being blocked due to automated systems checks. A representative of Rosfinmonitoring has confirmed to Russian newspaper “Kommersant: that there is a rise in such complaints and that the large majority of them – some 80%, is related to Sberbank.

The banks are not keen to abandon automated checks, as these are faster and help companies reduce staff expenses. The issue of automated systems replacing human staff has been on the agenda of regulators, with European Union lawmakers considering special rules for the use of robots and the protection of human employees. There is another point of view on the matter defended by AI companies like Albert that insist that the use of AI systems will in fact help human staff by taking their work to another level and actually elevating it instead of taking it away.

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