Janek Blankeburg, AI Engineer at the Bundesbank. The Bundesbank launches so-called "text-based intelligent assistants". ©Annika Soru

Bundesbank launches text-based intelligent assistants (TIAs)

The Bundesbank has unveiled a platform that enables staff across the institution to configure text-based intelligent assistants (TIAs) to their particular requirements and share them with others. This platform harnesses the same AI large language models as the widely known ChatGPT, but in this case user prompts are only sent to servers in Europe. Users don’t need to write a single line of code to make the most of TIAs. They configure the process once – that is to say, they say which aspects of the prompt they send to the AI model should remain identical for each prompt. One such aspect is the style of language used to formulate the output.

Once users have configured their TIAs, there are input fields in which they can enter their individual prompts. This means that TIAs always provide users with responses of a consistent quality while reducing the workload to a minimum, thanks to state-of-the-art technology that enables processes to be digitalised in less than five minutes.

Different use cases and data sources

Various types of TIAs are available for configuration via the platform. ©Annika Soru
Various types of TIAs are available for configuration via the platform.

The platform offers different types of TIAs that users can configure. Text to text TIAs, for example, can be used to summarise, compare or revise texts, or to generate text content from bullet points. And then there are document question answering TIAs, which allow users to ask questions about particular documents and receive written responses from the system, with the content of those responses originating only from the documents in question.

The TIAs can also be used in multiple languages. Because users can configure a TIA to generate output in a particular target language (“Give me your response in English”), it is now easier for them to produce texts in other important Eurosystem languages, like English or French.

One option going forward is to incorporate the Bundesbank’s internal data sources. Many reports and other documents produced within the Bundesbank are based on (statistical) data. In future, users could select the data they want to feed into their task in just a few clicks, with the platform then automatically transforming these data into a format understood by AI models.

Security and data protection

Janek Blankenburg explains how the platform works. ©Annika Soru
Janek Blankenburg explains how the platform works.

The Bundesbank’s TIA platform currently offers access to OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 models – the same models that power ChatGPT. Unlike ChatGPT, however, the models used on the TIA platform are provisioned not by OpenAI on US servers, but by Microsoft Azure on servers located in France. This ensures that prompts sent on the TIA platform are not used to further train the models and that no-one outside the Bundesbank is able to access TIA platform prompts or output, which is not the case with ChatGPT.

Platform helps drive efficiency and digitalisation at the Bundesbank

Open access to generative AI enables the Bundesbank to understand both the potential and the limitations of this technology in various use cases, and allows staff to put AI to immediate use where it makes sense to do so. For the Bundesbank and its partner central banks across the Eurosystem, the insights gained from dealing with generative AI could underpin more-extensive AI projects in the future which, in turn, will play a decisive role in the Bank’s ongoing digital transformation.