Mizuho permits 45,000 employees to use generative AI

'This is something we have to do, otherwise, we get left behind'

Mizuho permits 45,000 employees to use generative AI

Some 45,000 employees of banking holding firm Mizuho Financial Group, Inc will be allowed access to generative artificial intelligence (AI) this week, according to reports.

Employees of the Japan-headquartered firm's core lending units will be able to use Microsoft Corp's Azure OpenAI service, Bloomberg reported, citing Toshitake Ushiwatari, general manager of Mizuho's digital planning department.

The news comes despite distrust among many organisations about AI tools, such as OpenAI-developed ChatGPT, due to privacy concerns.

Ushiwatari, however, noted that the bank cannot shy away from generative AI's potential to lift society.

"This is something we have to do, otherwise, we get left behind," Ushiwatari told Bloomberg in an interview.

After the company's core lending units, the banking holding firm plans to introduce AI tools to its brokerage unit next month, Ushiwatari added.

Mizuho joins the growing list of organisations that are permitting generative AI in the workplace, which include Japan-based firm Daiwa Securities Group and New York-headquartered McKinsey and Company.

Using Azure OpenAI

Azure OpenAI allows users to "focus on creating innovative solutions that deliver value to their organisations and customers," according to Microsoft's website.

For Mizuho, Bloomberg reported that Ushiwatari's team is planning an "ideathon" as early as next month and is brainstorming ways to encourage employees to experiment with the technology.

According to the report, managers and rank-and-file employees are already submitting "dozens of pitches" for ways to use the technology before it is even installed.

One of the suggested uses of the generative AI tool is for "a one-stop reference point for the bank’s vast trove of internal rules, processes and other manuals," according to the report.

In Japan, the use of AI tools in the workplace is becoming more accepted.

A survey from automatica found that 76% of Japanese employees would welcome AI services to help them make the right decision in the workplace.

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