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July 23, 2020updated 07 Aug 2020 2:57am

RBC and Borealis AI announce new AI private cloud platform

By Douglas Blakey

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and its AI research institute Borealis AI have partnered with Red Hat and NVIDIA.

The parties will develop a new AI computing platform designed to transform the customer banking experience and help keep pace with rapid technology changes and evolving customer expectations.

As AI models become more efficient and accurate, so do the computational complexities associated with them. RBC and Borealis AI set out to build an in-house AI infrastructure that would allow transformative intelligent applications to be brought to market faster. At the same time, it will deliver an enhanced experience for clients.

Red Hat OpenShift and NVIDIA’s DGX AI computing systems power this private cloud system that delivers intelligent software applications and boosts operational efficiency for RBC and its customers.

RBC AI private cloud

RBC’s AI private cloud has the ability to run thousands of simulations and analyse millions of data points. And it does so in a fraction of the time than it could before. The flexible and highly reliable self-service infrastructure will allow RBC to build, deploy and maintain next-generation AI-powered banking applications.

The platform has already improved trading execution and insights. Specifically, it helps reduce client calls and has resulted in faster delivery of new applications for RBC clients. Moreover, it has the potential to benefit the AI industry in Canada, beyond RBC and financial services.

Mike Tardif, Senior Vice President, Tech Infrastructure, Royal Bank of Canada says: “In today’s ever-changing marketplace, we must always be at the forefront of innovation for our clients. We are proud to have delivered a unique AI Private Cloud capability in-house. This leverages our strong collaboration with Red Hat and NVIDIA. This cloud offers GPU acceleration and containerised platform benefits. And we are well positioned to provide the best experience possible for our customers going forward.”

Red Hat in action

Chris Wright, SVP and CTO, Red Hat adds: “It is always humbling to see Red Hat technologies in action. We are honoured to see how it contributed to the leading AI computing platform that RBC now has. Together with NVIDIA, OpenShift is helping to power the future of not just positive customer experience and overall operational excellence. It is enabling RBC to embark on research projects with the potential to make a lasting impact on the world.”

RBC Borealis leading the way in accelerating AI development

Charlie Boyle, Vice President and General Manager, DGX Systems, NVIDIA says: “Before AI can enable transformative business opportunities, it must first be integrated as a strategic IT platform. RBC is leading the way in accelerating AI development through high-performance infrastructure from NVIDIA and Red Hat. By combining innovative technology with their expert knowledge in financial services, the RBC team has created one of the most sophisticated and dynamic AI development infrastructures in Canada.”

Foteini Agrafioti, head of Borealis AI adds: “Modern AI cannot exist without access to high performance computing. This collaboration means that we can conduct research at scale, and deploy machine learning applications in production with improved efficiency and speed to market.”

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