American Express on Laptop screen

American Express cautiously experiments with generative AI

Financial service firm American Express (AmEx) (NASDAQ: AXP) says it will adopt a cautious stance toward the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) services into its offering for consumers. 

In a VentureBeat report, AmEx Senior Vice President Luke Gebb confirmed that the company has no plans to launch its own large language model (LLM) despite the popularity of ChatGPT and Bard. Instead, Gebb said that AMEX would be keen on leveraging existing LLM products but did not disclose any information on potential partnerships. 

“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 stated. 

Despite the cautious approach, Gebb shared that AmEx could release a suite of generative AI products for its clients, particularly in transaction approval. Gebb added that the payments firms may leverage AI for predictive analysis and “approving cards and lines of credit.” 

Other potential use cases for generative AI for AmEx include customer sentiment analysis and interactions. Laura Grant, Vice President of Product Development AmEx Digital Labs, said all potential use cases would be geared towards personalization, proactiveness, and predictiveness.

AmEx is aware of the security risks associated with AI usage among employees, stating that it is experimenting with “ring-fencing” to mitigate risks. Gebb explained that only a selected class of staff could access LLMs from their employee laptop to prevent data leaks.

Security issues involving generative AI for Big Tech firms came to light after Samsung (NASDAQ: SSNLFconfirmed that it suffered a data breach after an employee inputted a source code on OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

AmEx has been experimenting with AI before the buzz around the technology reached a crescendo. The payments giant acquired the firm behind the creation of AI firm MEZI in 2018 while its 100-man technology team continues to probe potential use cases for the technology.

Clamping down on generative AI

While consumers are speeding up the adoption of AI, big tech firms and governments have expressed concerns over the potential risks associated with their usage. JP Morgan (NASDAQ: JPM) joins the ranks of firms like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Verizon (NASDAQ: VZ), Accenture, and Citi, which have banned employees from using regenerative AI tools on company devices.

On the government side of things, China has launched a crackdown on using ChatGPT while Italy, France, Sweden, and Canada inch toward tighter regulations. The digital currency industry, music, and art appear to have borne the brunt of AI misuse amid privacy and intellectual property rights concerns.

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