ChatGPT, an AI-powered chat bot, has been all the buzz in business and technology news recently. Developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022, it can generate detailed responses across all sorts of domains of knowledge. Though it is not always accurate, it can write poetry, songs, essays, theses, instructions, etc. It appears to be limited only by one’s imagination and it is mature enough that it now powers Microsoft’s Bing search and Edge browser while Google is rushing to release their own version. While the reception has been both positive and negative, it is undeniable that the technology is impressive and may have unexpected implications on our everyday lives.
I wanted to take it for a spin to see “what can ChatGPT do for me?” or more specifically, for the asset management industry. Can it live up to the hype, based on where it stands today, and does it have the potential to revolutionize what and how we do?
After chatting with the bot, I’ve documented and assessed what ChatGPT says it can do:
“Help identify and solve problems, improve efficiency, and drive growth.”
My take: let’s look at some specific examples below. ChatGPT provided the headers and the italicized text.
“One of the most significant ways that ChatGPT can improve [Asset Management Operations] is by providing data analysis services. ChatGPT can analyze large amounts of data and provide insights and recommendations based on the results. This will enable businesses to make more informed decisions and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.”
My take: This has been the promise of big data for a while. AI can democratize access to data analysis by making it easier to setup and glean insights. For more basic applications, you won’t need a department staffed with PhDs in Data Science nor extensive costs to build out the required infrastructure.
“ChatGPT can replace traditional problem-solving methods by providing a more efficient and personalized service. The chatbot can ask questions and gather information to understand the problem at hand. It can then use machine learning algorithms to identify potential solutions and provide recommendations to the business. This will enable businesses to solve problems quickly and effectively.”
My take: I can see it working for customer service. Being able to process complex questions will certainly be beneficial to most call center type interactions. I still find myself asking for a live associate 99% of the time as automated phone or chat response systems can’t help with an unplanned or multi-step request. AI can also work for matching and reconciliation type of issues, where it can process more data, learn from history, and see patterns.
“ChatGPT can replace traditional project management services by providing a more efficient and cost-effective solution. The chatbot can create project plans, set deadlines, and assign tasks to team members. It can also provide real-time updates on the project's progress and identify potential roadblocks or delays. This will enable businesses to manage projects more effectively and efficiently.”
My take: I frequently run into administrative project managers who can create plans, set deadlines, assign tasks, and track progress. Often, they have no experience with the subject matter, vendors, tools, or practical realities of the industry and it doesn’t work out well. I don’t see how current AI would be any better.
“ChatGPT can improve knowledge management by providing a centralized platform for storing and accessing information. The chatbot can analyze data and identify patterns and insights, which can be stored and accessed by the business. This will enable businesses to make informed decisions and improve their operations.”
My take: Two thumbs up for anything that can improve document storage and knowledge management. I see many asset managers still relying on share drives and SharePoint type of infrastructure for knowledge management. The amount of unstructured data and other information continues to grow exponentially – becoming unmanageable. Any enhancements in the ability to get to the right data at the right time would be welcomed by the industry.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
“ChatGPT can replace traditional training and development services by providing a more efficient and personalized solution. The chatbot can create customized training programs based on an individual's needs and provide real-time feedback and support. This will enable businesses to improve their employees' skills and knowledge without the need for human trainers.”
My take: That could work. In our annual Citisoft Outlook 2023, we talk about the pressing need to upskill talent across asset management and bring non-domain professionals with technology acumen into the industry. ChatGPT’s function could extend to both sides of the talent coin—educating domain experts on technical solutions and also bringing technology experts up-to-speed more quickly on investment management domain topics. As the industry moves inexorably toward cloud solutions, asset managers and solutions providers could look to ChatGPT to help marry technical skills, programming knowledge, and cloud platform expertise with a nuanced understanding of operations for asset management.
“ChatGPT can improve process automation by providing a more efficient and cost-effective solution. The chatbot can automate repetitive tasks and processes, such as data entry or document management. This will enable businesses to save time and reduce the risk of errors, improving overall efficiency.”
My take: This could be another iteration of machine learning and robotic process automation for our industry. Many vendors are already introducing these types of technologies, such as ability to read unstructured files and normalize the data. This could also give big tech a viable alternative to capturing fintech market share.
While ChatGPT may say that it “has the potential to revolutionize the industry by providing a more efficient, cost-effective, and personalized service,” it’s not there quite yet. That said, it holds the promise to be a chat bot, 24/7 customer service agent, interactive trainer, document searcher, news aggregator, and unstructured data parser. There is potential for even more applications in mass markets: investment advisory, payment and transaction services, fraud detection, and account management just to name a few. Continuous improvement and newer versions will add to these opportunities.
However, ChatGPT can’t resolve complex problems. It does not understand context, it lacks emotional intelligence, it can’t apply logic and reasoning to new situations, and finally it doesn’t have practical experiences. AI can't solve the kind of operations and technology challenges that lean heavily on human elements such as finding the right culture fit with a service provider, envisioning a new future state, or building an operating model that understands people as complex, human assets (rather than statistics).
Simply put, ChatGPT can’t replace human intelligence and experience. Yet. It will be interesting to see where the next iterations of AI will take us. “As ChatGPT continues to evolve and improve, it will[may] become an increasingly valuable tool” for our industry.