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Generative AI and The Future of Finance: A Deep Dive with Sylvain Forté

Picture of Sylvain Forté, CEO and Co-founder Sylvain Forté, CEO and Co-founder | July 19, 2023

Hello, and welcome to our ongoing series on Generative AI in Finance. I’m Sylvain Forté, CEO and co-founder of SESAMm, and in our first article of the series, we’ll explore how generative AI is reshaping the financial industry. At SESAMm, we’ve been fortunate to be at the forefront of this revolution, witnessing the transformational power of large language models like ChatGPT and its iterations.

Unprecedented Evolution in Generative AI

Let's begin with an overview of the current generative AI landscape. Over the last few years, we've seen an explosion in the capabilities of generative AI, particularly in text processing. From BERT to GPT4, large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated increasingly impressive capabilities. These models, performing at a human level for many tasks, are rapidly evolving, making the past six months feel like an exponential leap in the AI domain.
Generative AI is no longer a speculative idea but rather an early adoption phase of a powerful technology. At SESAMm, we've leveraged our partnerships with OpenAI and other organizations to gain high-level access to these AI models, allowing us to harness this potential and democratize access to intelligence. It’s an exciting shift that, while reshuffling business models and job roles, promises enormous productivity gains and increased overall value. The key, of course, is ensuring that these benefits extend to society as a whole.

The Disruption in Financial Sector

The finance sector, with its vast array of text-based tasks, stands to gain enormously from generative AI. Any repetitive yet intelligence-heavy tasks — think verification, document generation, or client communication — are ripe for automation. 
Finance, despite being a highly intelligent sector, often sees that intelligence is misspent on routine tasks. Generative AI can realign this balance, reducing costs, enhancing service quality, and building trust. Whether private equity, asset management, or commercial banking, AI can streamline processes, delivering an efficiency boost that significantly enhances customer satisfaction.
In private equity, the automation possibilities could reshape the sector, bringing it closer to the public markets. In asset management and banking, cost reduction and service enhancement could lead to a dramatic rise in customer satisfaction.

Concrete Use Cases of Generative AI in Finance

So, how does this look in practice? Generative AI can automate numerous finance tasks, including creating reports, verifying information, summarizing news or earnings calls, and even making internal data searchable. Imagine a system that can help asset managers match various types of datasets based on a user query in natural language, thereby making data access and interpretation simpler. This could vastly improve the user experience with business software, reducing effort and time spent. While some applications, like a fully automated financial advisor or AI-led trading and hedging, might present more significant challenges, their potential benefits could revolutionize these sectors.

Overcoming Roadblocks

Of course, every transformation comes with challenges. The key is discerning which use cases are suited for full automation and which require human oversight. Data privacy concerns will also influence decisions about whether to use proprietary or open-source models. 
There will inevitably be resistance to change within organizations, but the 'Google test' can help navigate data privacy issues: if an employee would conduct that search or share that data on Google, it's likely safe to share with a proprietary Generative AI solution.

Generative AI and Risk Mitigation

Risk mitigation strategies can greatly benefit from generative AI. From detecting and preventing fraud to managing market risks, generative AI can verify identities, cross-reference databases, and analyze vast amounts of data. For instance, at SESAMm, we're developing an ESG controversy detection solution that can be an invaluable tool for risk mitigation.

Improving Investment Decision-Making

Generative AI’s ability to process and analyze massive amounts of data accurately and quickly makes it a formidable tool for investment decision-making. By identifying patterns, trends, and correlations that humans might miss, generative AI can provide a more comprehensive, data-driven perspective, aiding portfolio optimization, asset allocation, and investment risk management.

Streamlining Operations for Efficiency

Generative AI's efficiency and accuracy promise to transform financial institutions. By automating time-consuming tasks like report generation and client communication, AI can free employees to focus on strategic tasks that require critical thinking. 
Imagine being able to ask complex questions to your banking app in natural language and getting immediate, accurate responses. Such high-quality service was unthinkable a few years ago, but with generative AI, it's within our reach.
The future of the financial sector is undeniably tied to the successful implementation of generative AI solutions. The potential is vast, the challenges are surmountable, and the rewards are great. In my view, generative AI is the key to a more efficient, cost-effective, and customer-centric financial sector.

To learn more about SESAMm’s innovative solutions and how we’re pushing the boundaries with generative AI, read the second part of this series here.

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