Generative AI to transform fund member experience

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As generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) expands in its capabilities, Australia’s biggest superannuation funds can use it to further tailor and sophisticate its member communications, says this technology professional.

According to Michael Kollo, chief executive of generative AI advisory firm Evolved Reasoning, super funds are just one of the industries within Australia that will adopt models like ChatGPT in its business model.

Member communications will see the greatest impacts, with GenAI allowing funds to provide a more tailored and individualised experience for its members. 

“With AI, you can literally have a unique conversation with every single member,” Kollo explained. 

For mega funds, such as Australian Retirement Trust’s 2.2 million members and AustralianSuper’s 3 million members, these tools will play a key role during major events when more members need to contact their fund. 

“When you have over a million members, there is no way you can communicate with them individually anymore. There’s no infrastructure you can do that with,” he said.

“The only way that you will be able to communicate with your members going forward at any sort of individual level is through AI.”

As generative technology such as ChatGPT continues to penetrate the Australian market, Kollo believes that the country is lagging behind in adoption due to the potential risks. 

“The initial responses of large industries in Australia has been to shut it down and to ban it, simply because they just didn’t have initial control over it. I think going forward this approach will be replaced by policies, procedures, and adoption,” the CEO commented.

Artificial intelligence could also act as a hedge against new regulation within the super landscape.

Kollo continued: “At some point, if the regulator decides that funds have more responsibility to educate and inform the members about certain things, not just in a type of aggregated form but in a customised way, it could help with that as well.”

Despite its impressive abilities, Kollo reminded investment professionals of ChatGPT’s limited mathematical skills. The chatbot demonstrated an analytical IQ of 80, compared to a linguistic IQ of 140.

“It helps to think of it as an English Literature student who doesn’t know how to add numbers,” he offered.

AI’s numerical downsides could be reassuring for super professionals and fund managers who may fear their job security as technology’s prevalence grows. 

“The ‘product’ super funds ‘sell’ is an investment outcome. This technology is not about automating any investment outcome per se,” he said.

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