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Banking giant Mizuho is rolling out Microsoft’s generative AI tools to all 45,000 of its bank staffers in Japan.  

Many financial institutions have banned widespread employee use of GenAI tools like ChatGPT, but Mizuho’s strategy is to dive in headfirst. 

Mizuho is bullish on generative AI’s ability to disrupt workflows and processes throughout its business –and it’s letting employees take the lead of discovering how.  

The banking giant will allow 45,000 workers at its Japanese lending unit to test out Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI service, which offers tools like ChatGPT.  

The goal is to let employees experiment with use cases and pitch ideas for how to use GenAI to help them work more efficiently or unlock new value. While many other financial institutions are experimenting with GenAI, they tend to do so through limited tests and initiatives – sometimes while blocking ChatGPT from corporate computers in general. 

A Mizuho exec told Bloomberg that the bank does have guidelines and safeguards for employee use, but that it sees widespread ideation as a way to ensure it reaps the biggest benefits from the technology and avoids stagnation: “This is something we have to do, otherwise we get left behind.”