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Five AI Takeaways from Deloitte’s Alts Investments Conference

Recently, Deloitte shared highlights from GAIM Ops Cayman, a global conference for operations professionals working in alternative investments. Held in Grand Cayman last month, the event – cofounded and sponsored by Deloitte Cayman Islands – encouraged dialogue about the future of alternative investments among C-suite professionals, government agencies, regulators, investment managers, and other industry players.

A large focus of the conference was on artificial intelligence’s effects on the alts landscape and how to harness AI for accelerated growth, enhanced strategy, and decision-making.

“We are still at the beginning of mainstreaming AI within alternative investment management. There are some ‘early adopters’ who have already invested heavily in AI technology and are keeping up with the pace of change, however most are starting out on their AI journey,” said Pieta Brown, Deloitte generative AI leader for the Caribbean and Bermuda countries.

“For any organization, it’s important to engage in ongoing efforts to demystify AI, grasp the risks, and put in place appropriate policies, processes, and tools to manage these risks. Deepening understanding of how this technology can be optimized and integrated with business operations will drive growth and positively impact their clients’ experience,” said Brown.

Top AI takeaways from talks, panels, and discussions included the following.

  1. Several companies have begun developing custom AI tools and applications for the finance domain, as many existing “off-the-shelf” options are too generalized to meet specific requirements of financial services/alternative investments.
  2. Organizations must be intentional and strategic about deepening their understanding of AI technologies in order to harness their ability to drive growth while also strengthening functions such as compliance and risk management. Building AI awareness, understanding, and skills across all functions of an organization is critical.
  3. The use of AI within alternative investments management introduces new risks, e.g., using AI to perpetuate fraud and mislead investors, as well as the consequences of ‘hallucinations’ and factual errors from generative AI solutions. As the regulatory environment for AI evolves, it is important for organizations to have safeguards in place that align use with ethical standards and protect their reputations and performance.
  4. Compliance considerations when integrating AI include the need to re-engineer internal policies and the importance of early engagement with clients to shape their company’s AI strategy.
  5. AI solutions do not substitute for human input and strategy but should be viewed as tools to accelerate the achievement of organizational objectives. Further, AI has the potential to create entirely new job categories and would require upskilling within existing roles to be well-equipped to apply the technology.

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