BBVA uses AI and analytics services from AWS

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BBVA is using cloud-based machine learning and analytics from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support its strategy to put artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies at the heart of the business.

Internal processes, risk management, growth and customer-facing services will be built using the tools.

Ricardo Oliver, global head of data engineering at Spanish bank BBVA, said the deal and plans for a new data platform represent “a significant milestone for BBVA”.

“By embracing the power of AWS for our data strategy, we are improving our data management capabilities, making data available for everyone and leveraging AWS analytical capabilities to boost the impact of our data projects,” he said. “This strategic collaboration aligns perfectly with our objective of becoming a true data- and AI-driven digital organisation.”

The global data platform will be a secure repository of BBVA’s operations and customer data. “This platform will provide internal business stakeholders with automated business and market insights, increasing operational efficiencies and attracting new customers,” it said.

AWS Lake Foundation and DataZone tools will be used to build, manage and secure the data platform, which comply with financial services regulations.

More than 1,000 data scientists in BBVA’s AI Factory will use Amazon Sagemaker to build, train and deploy machine learning models for predictive analytics applications. 

BBVA has an existing relationship with AWS in its digital transformation journey for managing data. Its investment banking unit uses AWS cloud technology and services from market information provider Bloomberg to build a platform, known as BBVA C-Fit, which is used by traders to manage data directly.

The platform uses technologies such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka with Bloomberg’s B-PIPE to provide real-time direct access to market data over the cloud.

Banks across the world are now spending heavily in AI, with investments ranging from customer interactions at consumer-facing units to supporting investment banking strategies. There are calls for banks to be more transparent about their plans for technology.

Benchmarking company Evident recently assessed banks in four areas of responsible AI, using public data to create its AI Index. It looked at the banks’ creation of AI leadership roles, publication of ethical principles, collaborations with other organisations and publication of original research. It found that many banks lack transparency in how they are developing AI.

Its study of the largest banks in Europe, the US and Canada found eight that have not publicly reported their responsible AI principles.

“The problem is that there is no standard for responsible AI reporting, and many banks withhold the details of their efforts,” said Alexandra Mousavizadeh, CEO at Evident. “At this critical time for the sector, the banks need to show leadership and start reporting publicly on their AI progress.”

The Evident research found that European banks were the least transparent when it came to reporting their policies for responsible AI.

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