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American Express plans to extend its AI capabilities through partnerships despite having experimented internally with numerous machine learning-powered services.
Financial services titan American Express (Amex) plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) services to validate transactions, approve lines of credit, analyze customer sentiment and predict customer finances.
Despite these aspirations, a recent report from VentureBeat indicates that Amex currently has no intention of rolling up its own large language model (LLM) to compete with the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.
Per the report, Luke Gebb, senior vice president of American Express Digital Labs, dismissed the idea outright:
“Our hypothesis at the moment is that we would be better suited using LLMs through partnerships. I don’t see us spinning up our own LLM from scratch.”
Gebb didn’t disclose which partners the company intends to work with — Amex didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Cointelegraph — but it’s noteworthy that the company has worked with Microsoft to develop cloud-based AI technologies in the past few months.
Microsoft has a lion-sized stake in the generative AI world, having backed current industry leader OpenAI to the tune of $1 billion in 2019.
While it remains unclear which current partners will provide services or if Amex will seek out new partnerships, Gebb issued a laundry list of activities and services the company hopes to integrate into its stack in the future.
These include using AI to speed up transaction approval and tapping LLMs to parse customer interaction data to analyze sentiment — a process that involves treating customer feedback as a database and using machine learning to glean key insights and action points.
Gebb also told VentureBeat that Amex would use AI for “approving cards and lines of credit,” a sometimes controversial practice that relies on historical trends to attempt to determine whether an applicant is likely to experience significant financial loss (or growth) and, among other things, make determinations on whether that individual should be extended a line of credit.
The company appears to be taking a cautious approach to integrating the latest generation of AI technologies into its products and services, one that aligns with its general approach to fintech in recent years.
While competitors Mastercard and Visa have embraced cryptocurrency payments, for example, Amex has been content to slow-walk its endeavors in the space by offering up a crypto rewards card but stopping short of allowing payments via cryptocurrency.
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