How businesses can find and prioritise AI opportunities

George Westerman, principal research scientist at the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) discusses how Société Générale, the sixth-largest bank in Europe, uses generative AI as a core part of its digital transformation strategy with its chief digital strategy officer, Noémie Ellezam.


Most organizations are fairly well acquainted with the basics of generative AI, but few have put together a vision and road map for executing the still-fledging technology at enterprise scale.

Société Générale, the sixth-largest bank in Europe, is ahead of the pack, according to chief digital strategy officer Noémie Ellezam. The 150-year-old company supports 25 million clients daily, providing retail, corporate, and investment banking services as well as those specific to insurance, private banking, and securities. Innovation is central to Société Générale’s charter, and AI technologies, now including generative AI, have long been a pillar of the company’s digital transformation strategy.

“AI is an accelerator of our digital strategy, with potential impact across all of our businesses and business areas,” Ellezam said during a webinar hosted by MIT Sloan Management Review and sponsored by Skillsoft. Banks have been using AI and advanced analytics for years, with use cases such as real-time payments and fraud and overdraft management. “Generative AI is a very big step on the AI journey, but it’s just a step, not a complete shift,” she said.

Financial services institutions could see a 3% to 5% productivity boost from generative AI, but those gains won’t be reached for another three to five years, Ellezam said. Even though the technology is rapidly maturing, business outcomes are slower to manifest due to challenges related to ideation and prioritization, organizational structure, employee skills, and risk management. “There’s huge potential, but it’s a bit of work to mobilize it,” Ellezam said.

MIT Sloan