SWINDON-based building society Nationwide will invest in a company that uses high-tech analysis to customise personal one-to-one service.

Canadian company Scaled Insights develops behavioural AI to analyse people’s speech in order to communicate with them in language that is most accessible for them, and will move to Leeds because of the investment from Nationwide, which has its headquarters on Pipers Way.

The AI system is already being used to help NHS staff provide personalised weight loss advice and treatments for obese patients.

Scaled Insights CEO Stuart Sherman said: “We believe that the next steps in one-to-one communications will rely on computer systems understanding humans as individuals and tailoring messaging and offers towards each person’s unique needs. As we apply our AI to new challenges we are proud to have a partner that is focused on improving peoples’ health and finances while ensuring that the global trend towards larger organisational sizes doesn’t result in these larger organisations overlooking the humans they were created to serve.”

The system analyses over 130 different variables in an individual’s speech patterns, giving each a rating of between one and 100. The AI system is then able to generate an impression of each persons’ personality traits, much like when a person first listens to a new acquaintance speak and creates an impression of what they’re like in their mind.

The make-up of people’s linguistic personalities is unique as a fingerprint, so understanding what motivates them means organisations can use this insight to offer a more personalised service.

Nationwide’s investment comes from a £50 million venturing fund designed to create partnerships in which the society and start-ups share knowledge and expertise. Deputy chief executive Tony Prestedge said: “Digital innovation is changing financial services and other industries at a rapid pace but consumers still demand tailored service rather than a one size fits all mentality. This technology could help us better serve our members, which will allow us to talk to them in language that is appropriate while maintaining the human service that they expect from us.”