In a one-year trial period, 300 selected staff will be trained to use generative AI for multiple frontline and back-end operations.

Here is a case study of early generative AI (GenAI) adoption in the banking industry in Singapore. About 300 employees of a big local bank there, UOB, have been included in an early access program to gain access to new GenAI tools for their work across multiple frontline and back-end business functions starting October 2023.

The early access lasts for one year, and participants will be attending orientation sessions and workshops to learn to adopt the new technology smoothly.

Three benefits expected of the early adoption include:

    • Better productivity and effectiveness: Participants can transform the way they work on Microsoft collaborative software. For example, they will be able to effortlessly summarize lengthy documents and email threads, transform raw data into visualizations in Excel, or deliver concise meetings summaries on Teams.
    • Improved access to pertinent information: With the strengthened ability to locate and reference information within the bank easily, participants can intelligently identify and retrieve relevant data based on the context of any email or documents that they are working on. This would foster better collaboration among employees across different functions.
    • Enhanced content quality and impactful communication: With AI-enhanced generative creativity, participants will be able to transform existing documents into engaging presentations, make content more concise, and tailor their communications with appropriate “tone of voice” for their target audience. This can help the bank maintain a consistent and compelling voice across marketing materials and communication with customers.

UOB expects to integrate GenAI in its daily operations in future, and the early access program will enable the bank to explore the technology, guide employees through a new way of working with AI, and  create active feedback loops that contribute to a sustainable, broader “responsible AI” strategy for the whole bank.

According to the bank’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Group Infrastructure Platform Services, Group Technology and Operations, Lawrence Goh: “Generative AI has been at the forefront of emerging technologies and we see tremendous potential in integrating it into UOB’s daily operations. In addition to productivity improvements, we hope that this tool can spark creativity and inspire innovation among employees, ultimately further enhancing our customers’ banking experiences.”

Lee Hui Li, Managing Director, Microsoft (Singapore), the vendor offering the GenAI early access program, is pleased that her firm will be equipping UOB’s workforce with Generative AI tools that combine the power of large language models with business data from users’ productivity and collaboration apps such as Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Teams — which “we believe will yield an unparalleled agility needed to address changing customer expectations, competitive pressures, and regulatory shifts.”