AI may not be quite ready to replace the advisor
by P. E. KelleyMr. Kelley is managing editor of this magazine. Connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past year we have witnessed a phenomenal advent of generative AI tools, including GPT-4, ChatGPT and AlphaCode, and a subsequent explosion of possible outcomes for the technology. At the outset, its immediate adoption by users — throughout industry, education and just regular folks — has been definitive. It has captured the imagination of people of all ages and walks of life. And the implications for what it may do or cause, some say, have been spectral: for some, it may provide far-reaching predictive solutions for the world; for others, it might just disrupt the status quo. Still, throughout the Metaverse, it is all the buzz.
Mitchell Morrison is the founder of Eyeballs Financial, LLC, a fintech application that can provide up to date information pairing trusted advisor intelligence with artificial intelligence, to deliver meaningful and secure analysis for a client’s investment portfolio. He has an extensive resume in financial services, having been affiliated over the past 40 years in senior positions with some of the industry’s leading players. He spoke with Advisor Magazine about the role AI might actually play in the management of financial investment— not so much a disruptor but more a supportive tool.
PEK: What is the immediate promise of generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, to investors and their advisors, in adding to their understanding of their financial plans?
MM: The promise of AI, while not fully defined or detailed, is to offer financial recommendations and advice to users. However, this endeavor carries risks, as AI cannot predict the future or future events accurately. AI is more suited for generating standardized financial plans and specific investment recommendations, fitting within predefined frameworks. Venturing beyond these templates to provide reliable financial advice might be challenging and unwise due to potential financial dangers.
PEK: Has the technology proven to be at all effective as a predictive tool? Can it actually pick stocks with any significant positive results?
MM: While AI can potentially select stocks, there’s no guarantee or empirical evidence that these stock choices would consistently outperform human research in terms of generating positive results or predicting stock movements.
PEK: On the advisor side, how can this technology be used as a sales tool, especially with regard to compliance and licensing strictures?
MM: Currently, I’m not aware of any AI application or device that’s actively providing specific recommendations within major financial firms in the USA. Regulatory challenges like SEC Regulation B.I. and the FINRA fiduciary rule could hinder the progress of AI due to compliance concerns, and other regulatory bodies might also get involved in shaping the technology’s trajectory.
PEK: Some surveys reveal a clear interest in ChatGPT from Millennials and Gen Z. Do you have any data supporting the generational-landscape of this technology?
MM: Millennials and Gen Z show interest in using ChatGPT and similar AI technologies. However, the extent to which AI will truly impact and enhance their lives remains uncertain. Eyeballs Financial LLC has collected data indicating that these generations seek data improvements in their daily lives, with AI being one category of data they are interested in.
PEK: How are investors and consumers actually using this technology? How about advisors?
MM: As of now, investors are not extensively using ChatGPT and AI for investing in the financial industry. While the potential for AI, including generative models like ChatGPT, to impact investing exists, it is still a complex and evolving field with several challenges and considerations.
That is why we introduced another form of AI called Advisor Intelligence (A.I.). Advisor Intelligence, as powered by Eyeballs Financial App, to combine peace of mind from trusted financial advisors with the convenience of artificial intelligence. The app has started to gain traction within the financial community. This technology facilitates real-time communication between clients and financial professionals, ensuring compliance with the ‘know your customer rule’ and providing financial advisors with insights into client inquiries, essentially granting them ‘night vision’ into client interests.
PEK: Have you discovered any immediate downside to using technology like ChatGPT in a financial-research mode?
MM: While I am not directly involved in the research side of the business, potential downsides could include financial losses resulting from predictions based on flawed data. Nonetheless, algorithms and AI could enhance research and calculations. Nevertheless, I still believe that investment recommendations may ultimately be influenced by a ‘gut feeling’ regarding specific choices.
PEK: Like most new technology, there are often growing pains — sometimes costly ones — as, in this instance, it finds its way into established financial models?
MM: Similar to other emerging technologies, the integration of AI, including generative AI, into established financial models could be accompanied by challenges and costs. It’s important to recognize that AI, such as ChatGPT, cannot predict unexpected future events, and navigating its incorporation into existing financial frameworks might involve a learning curve and potential financial implications.
PEK: Can you talk briefly about the company, Eyeballs Financial, and particularly your Remote Inquiry Questions (RIQ) protocol, as a viable tool for advisors to utilize the power of generative AI?
MM: Eyeballs Financial LLC, established in 2018, offers the Eyeballs Financial App, which serves as a gateway to valuable financial AI. This fully functional smartphone app, developed by the end of 2020, is capable of providing answers to various financial questions regarding brokerage accounts. Through real-time interaction, users can ask financial inquiries, receiving instant verbal and text-based answers sourced directly from brokerage customer statements.
The app also introduces the innovative Remote Inquiry Questions (RIQs) protocol, capturing and forwarding user inquiries to designated financial advisor dashboards. Advisors gain insight into client interests without the need for live conversations, essentially receiving ‘night vision’ into client needs and questions. Eyeballs Financial’s offerings encompass both Client Intelligence (C.I.) and Advisor Intelligence (A.I.), enhancing the advisor-client relationship and communication.