UPDATE – MAY 11, 2023 – Trovata has launched the first generative AI tool for finance that uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology to automate cash reporting and business intelligence.
ChatGPT is a generative AI—artificial intelligence technology that is capable of producing all kinds of original content—that has taken the world by storm in recent weeks.
While ChatGPT and the legions of other similar tools are largely controversial—with concerns surrounding if or, rather, when (and how) they’ll take over certain jobs, as well as how trusty they actually are—there’s no doubt that industries across the board, including financial technology, are creating the space to start leveraging them.
In the latest episode of the Fintech Corner podcast, “Can We Trust ChatGPT? Going Down the Rabbit Hole of AI’s Implications,” our host and Trovata CTO, Joseph “JD” Drambarean, sits down with Kevin Bell, Head of Client Solutions at Trovata, to talk about the many ways in which artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and the emerging alternatives could change the game for businesses—as well as the precautions they should still be taking.
What’s the Latest With Generative AI?
OpenAI’s ChatGPT is the first player in this space to really make waves. While the platform launched in November 2022, it didn’t gain so much steam until a few months later when Microsoft announced the third phase of its multimillion-dollar investment in OpenAI.
“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said in a release.
OpenAI’s bot, ChatGPT, is just a piece of the puzzle in accelerating the breakthroughs in AI and how accessible AI is to everyday users. Microsoft and OpenAI are on a mission to ensure that “the benefits are broadly shared with the world.”
ChatGPT can answer followup questions, admit to mistakes and challenge incorrect premises. It rejects inappropriate questions, but it does its best to answer everything it can—and users have reportedly gone into great depths with the bot.
After garnering a myriad of media attention, OpenAI decidedly dropped ChatGPT Plus, a premium subscription service to capitalize on the hype.
Since Microsoft stocks soared following the news of its significant investment in this rapidly developing AI tool, the company also announced its own use of AI within the Bing search engine. Bing’s AI made headlines for “unhinged” behavior and reported desire to be alive, followed by the ability to actually change its personality.
Microsoft’s moves have also sparked interest in innovative AI tech tools from Silicon Valley giants, including Google, which also quickly launched its own chatbot, Bard. Unfortunately for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, however, shares dropped a cool $100 billion immediately after the AI chatbot made a costly mistake in its very first demo.
Bard suggested that the James Webb Telescope discovered exoplanets, which NASA later confirmed were actually discovered by the European Southern Observatory’s telescope in 2004. Social media users jumped at the opportunity to tell Google to, well, Google it.
While there are still some hiccups with ChatGPT and its alternatives like Bing and Bard, there’s no denying that the opportunities ahead are infinite.
Relating this AI technology to basketball, Drambarean says, that there’s taking baby steps to make a layup and “do the basics right”—and then there’s ChatGPT and advanced AI solutions that are “effectively the NBA Jam, jumping 30 feet in the air, backflip dunking.”
He says the tech part of him is elated about the recent developments.
Kevin Bell likens the emerging technology to the next big thing—like “the iPhone coming out” or the birth of the internet in the first place.
“It’s just like the democratization of AI across so many different use cases,” he says. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Can (Or Should) AI Chatbots Help Businesses Make Financial Decisions?
What if you don’t need a great software footing to help you get a grasp on cash management and, instead, you could just ask a bot how you should be investing or what changes you should be making?
“One of the things that has been interesting to me about ChatGPT is the ability to take it down a rabbit hole, steering it and seeing the responses that you’ll get out of the interface,” Drambarean says.
While the future of making financial decisions may not be totally devoid of smart software tools like Trovata, the advancements in AI are certainly worth leveraging.
“You don’t need to know every bell and whistle of this AI tool or this analytics solution—it’s just, whoever you are, whatever your role is within the organization, you can ask a simple question and try to get the answer that you’re looking for,” Bell says.
“So, to me, that actually makes a heck of a lot of sense going forward. And now, with the power of AI to support that even more, it could be a fascinating topic.”
Drambarean, however, begs the question, “Can we trust it?”
“The only guarantee is that refinement, over time, will get it to a percentage point of satisfaction where, today, maybe it’s 99.99, but in the future, it might be 99.9999999, and that would mean that you could really trust it,” he says.
Until we can trust the accuracy of tools like ChatGPT for finance, he cautions against businesses using it to make cash decisions based on information that could be false.
Bell agrees that businesses should retain the human aspect of this level of decision-maker to help verify, interpret and leverage AI-powered insights. After all, even Google got it wrong right out of the gates.
“AI is not advanced enough to do critical thinking, at least at this point,” Bell says. But these emerging tech tools can still help people do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
Still, he adds, we’re likely to see conversations and ensuing governance and guidelines emerge as the technology does—just as we’ve seen with social media. “I think we’re gonna go through a lot of that same chaos and confusion as we see how this technology unfolds.”
The Bottom Line on ChatGPT for Finance Teams
Financial decision-making could look a lot different as AI-powered tech tools learn to offer businesses with pattern recognition, forecasting and more. But this is the “Wild West,” as Drambarean puts it.
“There are no rules right now,” he says. “We’re getting to see it play out live, and it’s going to be interesting to see how it intersects and overlaps with the technology that we’re producing and, just generally in tech, how it plays out.”
Hear more of Drambarean and Bell’s thoughts on AI and why and how businesses can leverage such advanced analytics to make moves—with the help of human involvement, instead of the other way around.
Check out the full episode of the Fintech Corner podcast here.