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Last Updated : Jul 05, 2018 12:14 PM IST | Source:

UBS creates digital clone of chief economist to answer customer queries

The digital avatar of the bank’s chief economist will be deployed in front of 100 clients. It will respond to queries with answers taught by the real economist.

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Investment bank and financial services company UBS has created a digital clone of its Swiss chief economist Daniel Kalt. The bank has created an avatar of the top executive to put it before clients to answer their questions.

The company has also trained 10 advisors in its Bellevue branch in Zurich, to use the digital clone under the project, known as ‘UBS Companion’. The clone will soon be used in front of 100 clients of the bank.

The clone will respond to questions asked by customers, with answers taught by Kalt.


However, the bank said that the project is not meant to replace its economists, but will instead focus on "trying to find the best possible combination of human and digital touch".

The digital avatar has been built by New Zealand-based artificial intelligence company FaceMe along with IBM for UBS, according to a report by Financial Review.

"In the future, we could see UBS advisers in thousands of different rooms, all with Daniel Kalt available as a digital human," Mark Fitzgerald, FaceMe director of government and enterprise said.

The digital avatar was created by using more than 120 high definition (HD) professional cameras on a special scanning rig to shoot Kalt's head for half a day.

According to Fitzgerald, the digital render seems real and customers could feel that they are watching a video of a real person on a conference call. Yet, the experience is not designed to deceive them, he added.

FaceMe is creating similar digital avatars for other banks such as Commonwealth Bank's New Zealand subsidiary ASB, which will feature "Josie", a digital assistant meant to help business owners set up a new company.

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First Published on Jul 5, 2018 12:14 pm
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