Using AI to shape the financial services of the future
What is Mizuho's path to innovation?

Mizuho Digital Transformation

June 6, 2024


Use of generative AI has grown in leaps and bounds these past few years, with new headlines seemingly emerging on a daily basis. Mizuho has also been pouring resources into the utilization of generative AI and we have made great strides this past year. In June 2023 we released 'Wiz Chat,' a text-generating AI assistant for our employees in Japan, with the software continuing to evolve as new functions are added. The AIX* Promotion Office was also established in April 2024 to promote the utilization of AI, with various initiatives under way to accelerate the application of AI at Mizuho. This report looks at the evolution of Wiz Chat, the activities of the AIX Promotion Office, and the outlook going forward.

* AIX stands for 'AI transformation,' which involves reforming operations and processes using AI.


Generative AI use spreading to Mizuho
Wiz Chat is the key

Wiz Chat is Mizuho's bespoke generative AI assistant. It was developed using the Azure OpenAI Service and introduced in June 2023. Initially, it could only be used to generate text. However, its interface was very easy to use, even for beginners, and it came equipped with 12 prompt templates covering areas like presentations, draft preparation, and translation, with the software released to Mizuho employees in Japan.
Development of Wiz Chat has continued in the short time since its release. Functions added in April 2024 include a long text support function that can process 80,000 tokens, around five times more data than previously; DALL-E3, an easy-to-use and high-quality image generator; and GPT-4 Vision, which is image recognition software that can handle both text and image inputs. The long text support function can be used to analyze data or summarize and translate long news articles or online meeting transcriptions, with this leading to greater operational efficiency at work. The image generation and recognition functions can be utilized to prepare images to insert into documents or to read and process paper documents received from clients.
While these added functions have increased the number of templates that better match on-site operational needs, another new function lets individuals share templates they have created themselves, with all this greatly enhancing ease of use. Employees are sharing their own templates across Mizuho's internal social media, with the use of Wiz Chat spreading throughout the company.


Heart of Mizuho's AI strategy
Established the AIX Promotion Office where members with a diverse range of viewpoints gather

With the utilization of generative AI increasing through Wiz Chat, Mizuho newly established the AIX Promotion Office in April 2024. As the team handling Mizuho's AI strategy, the AIX Promotion Office promotes AI utilization internally and externally by supporting the application of AI to workplace operations and its usage in business.
With regards to the application of AI to operations, the team has led the development of shared general purpose tools like Wiz Chat and the building of new promotion infrastructure. The team is also conducting a proof of concept for the realization of various utilization ideas, including those relating to the Wiz series (such as Wiz Search, an inquiry AI that supports Q&A related to business operations; and Wiz Create, a document generation AI that supports the preparation of credit approval documents and proposals), and ideas that emerged from a Generative AI Ideation, an in-house event held in August 2023.
The AIX Promotion Office comprises around 20 members with a diverse range of backgrounds including experience in sales and back office operations, as well as various mid-career specialists. This diversity of talent enables approaches that include various perspectives. As a result, the team can generate numerous creative and practical solutions. Furthermore, project managers and engineers also participate from group companies with strong technological capabilities, including Mizuho Research & Technologies and Mizuho–DL Financial Technology, with such expertise, knowledge and experience enhancing project quality.


Accelerating AI utilization through R&D and infrastructure building
Producing effective results through speedy development

In order to further promote the utilization of AI, the team also carries out back-end and middleware development and conducts research and development (R&D). Regarding back-end development, moves are under way to construct a specialist database to maximize AI performance. Concerning middleware, the team is conducting performance tests of large language models (LLM) and developing lightweight expert models geared towards specific fields.
In the R&D area, the team gathers data about market trends and the latest AI technology (with a focus on use cases at financial institutions), with this knowledge then used to further enhance operational applications and promotion infrastructure. The team also proactively explores new technologies, including trial AI agents, methods for improving structured data accuracy, and technologies for improving inference speeds.
It has also adopted speedy development methods, while teams with scrum masters and other specialist roles implement fast, iterative development cycles. By swiftly assessing the progress of projects and creating opportunities for feedback, the team can effectively determine whether to continue with a project while also taking rapid, efficient action that produces results.

The aim is not just to introduce AI technology
It is to generate innovation through its use

As well as expanding the utilization of AI within Mizuho, the AIX Promotion Office is also working vigorously to generate innovation using AI. By responding rapidly to the evolution of AI technology, the team aims to improve the customer experience, optimize operational efficiency, and develop new business models. It's not just about introducing new technology either. From here on, the team will also strive to transform the organizational culture and fundamentally review operational processes, all with the ultimate aim to drive innovation across the financial sector.
Mizuho's AI initiatives mark an important step towards shaping the financial services of the future. We hope you'll follow their future progress too.

Text and photographs: Mizuho DX Editorial Department


This article is for general information only and is not intended to constitute any investment, legal, accounting, taxation or other advice of any kind from Mizuho Bank, Ltd. or any of its affiliates (individually or together, as the context may require or admit, "Mizuho").
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