Artificial intelligence is changing the rules in finance and business. However, because AI technology is taking evolutionary leaps on what seems like a monthly or even weekly basis, the rules governing how companies develop and apply AI are changing at an even faster pace. To help banks and financial service providers navigate this breakneck innovation, I’ve highlighted what I see as the most important rules for companies to follow as they integrate AI into their business practices and strategies in 2024.

The FOMO rule

Many of the first commercial products using generative AI were designed to make companies’ internal operations more productive. Early adopters of these solutions have now had a year or more to work with the technology. In coming months, companies will apply this experience to create externally facing AI products, making 2024 an exciting time to be a user of AI in everyday business—and life. As a wave of fun features hits the market, customers will be watching closely, putting pressure on banks and other financial service providers to ensure they’re not left out.

The Elvis rule

In 1968, Elvis Presley sang a song called “A Little Less Conversation,” which included the line, “a little more action, please.” In 2024, AI will follow the Elvis rule, with less talking and more doing. We will see the debut of a new array of AI products that go beyond talking (GenAI chatbots, etc.) to actually accomplishing tasks for users. Companies will use large language models to initiate API calls to independently connect to other applications in order to complete complex workflow tasks. As just one example, we’re using these techniques at Broadridge to supercharge the productivity of operational teams of our post-trade clients through our new OpsGPT platform.

What will the Elvis Rule look like for individual businesses and employees? In coming months, it will be increasingly common for AI bots to perform both sides of a correspondence, writing and responding to emails, booking appointments and rescheduling meetings—all without human input. Looking ahead, we’ll see personal AI assistants working with corporate AI chat bots to resolve customer service issues and even negotiate prices. Scary, yes, but what a great opportunity for productivity expansion in the financial services industry.

The productivity to the max rule

The release of Copilot in Microsoft Office, the Enterprise edition of ChatGPT and similar applications from other vendors, is giving superpowers to office workers. In an instant, any professional can now summarize notes from a meeting, generate action items and produce insights and recommendations about the best way to tackle problems. In the coming year, these tools will vastly enhance the productivity of employees. They will also increase expectations from employers and raise the bar for top performers.

In 2024, everyone will be a developer. AI will blur the lines between businesspeople, tech experts and creatives. AI makes it easier for nonexperts to use technology and even produce code. New AI applications also make it much easier for anyone to create narratives, images and even videos. The key for companies is to get the technology into the hands of all employees and let the magic happen. At Broadridge, we created a digital “sandbox” where all staff can access and experiment safely with AI.

The back to basics rule

One of the biggest challenges for companies in 2024 will be keeping focused amid rapid innovation in AI. For the foreseeable future, we can expect to see a mind-blowing new model release nearly every week. All these shiny new tools will be tempting, but companies must avoid becoming paralyzed by chasing every new iteration. Existing applications already offer powerful capabilities. In the year ahead, companies should pick an enterprise AI solution and focus on building a solid foundation to create value for users. That foundation should be composed of data, safety and basic AI “hygiene.”

Data: While there’s almost no way to predict exactly what the biggest AI breakthroughs will be in the coming year, one thing is certain — all the new advances will be powered by data. The best thing companies can do to prepare for the future is to spare no expense when it comes to making sure their data is secure, reliable and accessible for AI. Ultimately, proprietary data will be the biggest driver of value in a marketplace that runs on AI.

Safety: In the cult sci-fi series Lost in Space, the robot would alert his human counterpart with the warning, “Danger, Will Robinson.” A similar call is needed today in AI. Technology is moving at light speed, while regulation is moving at a snail’s pace. In 2024, regulators will race to keep up with innovation—and companies will too. As AI becomes a part of nearly every corporate function, building in the right guardrails to secure personal data, eliminate model bias and comply with both industry rules and general regulations governing AI will become a top priority.

AI Hygiene: In 2024, AI maintenance will be crucial. As AI-powered apps become ubiquitous, developers are facing the next challenge: maintaining the software. Guarding against model drift in existing applications will be a constant concern. Meanwhile, AI solutions won’t be static: Models will get updated and features will be added as new technology and new data sources become available. In 2024, companies will start building out processes for product management, output testing and other tasks that will become critical operational functions in an AI world.

The TikTok rule

2024 will be the year AI goes multi-media. Of course, text-based applications will remain a mainstay in business. But state-of-the-art AI is moving beyond text to multi-modal, including audio, image and video. In November, OpenAI launched GPT-4 Vision, DALL-E3 and enhanced versions of Whisper (voice transcription) and Voice Synthesis models. In the next year, these and other AI advances will revolutionize how humans interact with computers.

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