Morgan Stanley will roll out its generative artificial intelligence bot this month, following months of testing with financial advisers.
The bot, which will be available to bankers as a virtual assistant will be powered by OpenAI, makers of the popular generative AI tool ChatGPT.
The purpose of the bot, originally reported by CNBC in March, is to let advisers tap into the bank’s “enormous repository of research and data,” hastily finding information or forms rather than having to look through documents individually.
Reuters reported an updated timeline Thursday, and noted that with client permission, the AI bot could also eventually summarize adviser-client conversations post-meeting, draft a follow-up email, schedule a follow-up appointment, and “learn how to help advisers manage clients' finances on areas such as taxes, retirement savings and inheritances.”
“People want to be as knowledgeable as the smartest person” at Morgan Stanley, Jeff McMillan, head of analytics, data and innovation at the firm’s wealth management division, told CNBC in March. “This is like having our chief strategy officer sitting next to you when you’re on the phone with a client.”
The impact of AI will potentially be as significant as the introduction of the internet, Sal Cucchiara, Morgan Stanley's chief information officer of wealth and investment management, told Reuters.
The bank inked the partnership with OpenAI last summer, and Morgan Stanley has “preferred access in product development for wealth management,” Reuters reported.
Investment advice, however, will continue to be dispensed by humans, not AI.
"The adviser is still at the center," Cucchiara said.
A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley confirmed the bank’s plans to roll the technology out this month.
The bank isn’t alone in its exploration of generative AI. Multiple fintechs have associated themselves with AI tools this summer, and banks doing so is a hot enough topic these days that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra has been keeping a watchful eye — at least on consumer-facing chatbots, which he said in June could “lead to customer frustration, reduced trust and even violations of the law.”
But banks are hungry for folks with a comprehensive understanding of how to harness AI’s power, and hungry enough that several universities have taken the cue to include it in their curriculum.
Kwamie Dunbar, associate professor of finance and director of the master’s fintech program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, told Banking Dive that financial institutions “are looking to hire individuals with AI training that can come in and can take AI and apply it to business.”
A WPI graduate student is developing a product that uses AI to analyze stock performance, allowing it to make guided recommendations for investors, Dunbar said. The tool is geared toward making junior advisers more savvy by analyzing the decisions that their managers make, and providing recommendations the advisers can pass onto clients — as well as questions they should be asking.
“It's not replacing their people, but what it will do is, for a young trader who is just joining the trading floor, this could be something that is complementary in their training, and helping them to come up to speed pretty quickly with how a seasoned 20-year veteran makes certain calls,” Dunbar said of the WPI AI project.