How Brazilian bank Bradesco is using its AI customer service assistant to combat violence against women

Three women
Credit: Bradesco

For women in all countries around the world, all forms of domestic abuse are still an issue. Here in Brazil, violence against women is particularly pronounced, with one women every two seconds suffering from some from of violence or abuse.

This week, Bradesco, one of Brazil’s largest banks, announced a new initiative to help combat violence against women. From now on its artificial intelligence chat bot BIA has now been trained to provide specific responses when receiving abuse from customers. In doing so the bank is taking a stand against violence against women and particularly verbal abuse in a highly public and pro-active manner.

Bradesco launched this initiative with the following television advert which you can watch below with English subtitles.

BIA was launched in 2018, and from the very start, it has received offensive and inappropriate messages. As Bradesco say, they have now trained BIA to respond in a just and firm manner, “without many words, and without submission”.

On their webpage which provides further support for women, Bradesco show actual messages that BIA has received. These screen shots show the following:

“This chat is absolutely stupid.”

“Bia, have sex with me.”

“Bia, can I rape you?”

Customer interactions with Bradesco Bia
Credit: Bradesco

Previously, BIA was trained to reply in a manner which diminished the incident, but as these examples show, BIA explains why the messages are not appropriate and also which laws the customer has broken.

Maria and I saw the advert on television for the first time last night, and it was extremely powerful. It is an excellent example of the conscious use of artificial intelligence both to raise awareness about an extremely important social issue and also an example of a contribution to the solution. For this I would like to congratulate Bradesco for their public stance and commitment to supporting women and their involvement in the cause to reduce violence and abuse.

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