Morgan Stanley’s new AI tool  ‘spotty on accuracy’: sources

The generative AI intelligence revolution has begun with a whimper, not a bang at Morgan Stanley.

The investment bank rolled out a new artificial intelligence tool on Monday that allows its army of financial advisers to quickly access an estimated 100,000 research papers and documents.

However, the bot – called AI @ Morgan Stanley Assistant – has been far from helpful in its first few days, multiple sources told On The Money. 

Not only is it difficult to find on the company’s internal web page, it also falls short of more popular generative AI tools like ChatGPT or Bard, they said.

“It’s spotty on accuracy and selective in what it can actually answer,” one source at the bank said. “I keep getting ‘I’m unable to answer your question’ as my response.’”

Others labeled the initiative – announced with much pomp by Morgan Stanley co-president Andy Saperstein – nothing more than a publicity stunt. 

Morgan Stanley illustration
Paola Morrongiello

Rebranding a bot as “AI” is a way to signal they’re ahead of their peers when it comes to adopting new technology, one source scoffed.

“It’s the same old stuff and they just call it AI,” a source said. 

While Bard and ChatGPT are far more sophisticated tools, they don’t give out specific financial advice and only provide general information about how investing works and different types of investment vehicles to consider. Morgan Stanley’s tool aims to provide more specific, concrete guidance but evidently hasn’t quite gotten there yet.

“Financial advisers will always be the center of Morgan Stanley wealth management’s universe,” Saperstein said in unveiling the AI assistant. “We also believe that generative AI will revolutionize client interactions, bring new efficiencies to adviser practices, and ultimately help free up time to do what you do best: serve your clients.” A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent months, banks have jockeyed to hire the best talent and become the most competitive in the AI sector. One firm has even created an index that ranks banks against each other for who is most competitive in the space.

This has stoked fears that generative AI could lead to massive job cuts among already jittery Wall Street workers.

But for now, it looks like Morgan Stanley advisers have little to worry about.