Dave Nadig on AI: “We Should Be in That Critical Learning Phase”

When it comes to AI, VettaFi’s financial futurist Dave Nadig said that thanks to ChatGPT, “we’re in this bit of a hype cycle.” But we’re also “in a bit of the reality-check cycle.”

Nadig likened artificial intelligence to the Internet in 1997. By then, Bill Gates had dismissed the Internet as a fad. And yet, no one could pretend it didn’t exist.

“We should be in that critical learning phase,” Nadig said at the introductory panel of VettaFi’s AI Symposium.

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On one hand, advisors are interested in advanced AI and looking for opportunistic plays within the space. But on the other hand, “they’re pretty skeptical about big hype cycles,” Nadig said. “That’s the appropriate response.”

“Where Does the Rubber Meet the Road?”

Narrow AI is nothing new. People have been using Alexa, Siri, and large language models for a while now. But the challenge now is predicting how advanced AI will change the investment management business.

“Now the question a lot of people have is, where does the rubber meet the road?” Nadig said. “How does this impact investors and how does this impact businesses?”

The tools AI provides aren’t immediately replacing or even augmenting the business. It won’t replace financial advisors, for example. “But that doesn’t mean there won’t be big economic impacts,” he said.

For example, Nadig suggested that we’re probably a month away from having AI that monitors an advisor’s clients for them. They won’t replace the client review. But they can scour a client’s portfolio and alert the advisor that they talked about taking a big vacation in 2025.

“That’s where we’re going to see big dividends paid,” he said, adding that it can be a good “editorial assistant.”

Nadig said that advisors should consider all the things in their lives that are digitized but siloed. The next big step is to break down those silos and talk across all those different sets of information.

While investors should be very skeptical about companies claiming to invest in AI technology, Nadig said the reality is that we’ll be seeing “impacts in surprising places.”

While we don’t know how artificial technology will impact businesses, Nadig said we will “see impacts in surprising places.” AI will make its mark in such places as logistics, warehouse management, and retailing.

“Managing those supply lines aren’t easy,” Nadig said. “AI is going to make those things better.”

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