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Future Fit Advice

AI – risks, rewards and big opportunities ahead

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9 months ago

If your approach to AI has been to put your head in the sand and ignore it, then it’s time to be proactive and explore both the risks and opportunities this emerging technology represents

We all know that AI is changing the game for modern business. The question we need to ask now, argues cyber expert Fraser Jack, is how we can harness its potential and minimise business risks.

If your approach to AI to date has been to put your head in the sand or similar, then consider this your friendly tap on the shoulder. 

This is for two reasons – one friendly, one sinister. 

On the friendly side, AI can be a new “secret weapon” in your tool belt to help you achieve more within your business.

“The biggest opportunity is around time saving,” explains Fraser Jack, founder of The Cyber Collective. 

“It’s about asking the question: how can we use AI to create efficiencies in what we’re doing now? We’re still very much looking at a hybrid arrangement as we still need people to be involved… the opportunities around efficiencies are significant.”

Having run a financial planning practice, Jack – who has worked in and around the financial services industry for over 20 years as a technology specialist – says the flip side of this coin is around the dark side of AI. 

“There are very real risks for financial planning businesses. It’s very easy for someone to run an AI script impersonating a CEO that says, ‘We’ve had a great year, I want to give everyone a Christmas bonus – click this link to confirm your details.’ All the grammar errors are gone, it’s beautifully written and sounds like the actual person, and this could easily scam people,” Jack says.

“There’s also the opportunity for deep fake content to get in between your trusted relationships with clients. That’s the biggest value you have in your business – your trusted relationships – and if something can get in between you, that poses a real risk.” 

With a view to understanding the reasonable steps financial professionals need to take, Jack says the first port of call is developing an AI policy.

What is an AI policy? 

Are your staff allowed to use ChatGPT? For what purpose? Can they use AI in some parts of the business, but not others?

These are all questions Jack wants you to consider when considering your relationship with AI. 

“There’s a new tool in Canva to use AI imagery. If someone in your team goes and uses it, what’s your policy? AI is being overlaid into everything – it can even provide a better way of writing an email. Is this something you want to allow your staff to do or not?”

Having a policy in place allows you to create clarity around what is and isn’t acceptable, he explains.

“When you put a policy in place, you look at what the risks and rewards could be then you work out: what can your business use it for? You might decide you will use it for marketing, but not for compliance work, for instance.”

The key to success when adopting AI is to focus your efforts in areas of your business where the risk of something going wrong is low, and the outcome is similarly low. 

“If someone in your business is gung ho and they’re using ChatGPT to write a statement of advice and no-one’s checking it – is that creating efficiencies, or is it creating more risk? Is it a less prudent use of the time invested by the senior person checking it?” Jack says.

There can be “big rewards and opportunities around efficiency”, he adds – provided you use it wisely.

Updated 8 months ago
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