I had a very disconcerting experience this week.
Like most businesses we’re exploring what AI will mean for us, particularly given that we’re a business that makes a living out of turning deep specialist knowledge about superannuation and SMSFs into something useful for our clients. We’re very much at the early stages and I’m certainly enjoying playing around. I’m even learning about new careers (“prompt engineer” – which to me just sounds like someone who delivers projects on time).
But this week my colleague, Lyn Formica, asked ChatGPT to write a blog article about a particular topic “in the style of Meg Heffron”.
And. It. Sounded. Like. Me. (a bit)
It was also factually accurate. (mostly)
I immediately fantasized about retirement. And then had a brief existential crisis about the future of Heffron. And then wondered how the internet knew what I “sounded like” and was that creepy.
But actually, where I ended up was far more excited about how AI could help us do a better job of supporting our clients than concerned about what it might mean business-wise. I’m dating myself I know, but I remember life before the internet. When Google really started improving rapidly and serving up information at the click of a button, I did wonder if that meant the end of a knowledge business like ours. As it turns out, it didn’t. It meant that different things became more valuable. For example, trust (in the author, in the firm), knowing where and how to dig further (since articles rarely cover every if, but and maybe) and being able to use the internet to self-educate but then get the final reassurance from an expert.
I don’t know what these “different things” will be in an AI world. Certainly, our tools are changing faster and becoming more powerful than anything we’ve had in the past. But it’s going to be an interesting ride!
In the more immediate future – the Federal Budget will be brought down in a few weeks. I suspect we will see some super changes this time and I doubt those of us with SMSF clients will be excited about them. If nothing else, the pace at which the Government seems to be moving on the new tax for those with balances of more than $3m suggests we will see more here – possibly even draft legislation. If you want to have your say about this measure, don’t forget the deadline for responses on the consultation paper released by Treasury last week is 17 April. If that isn’t a sign that the Government is hot to legislate urgently (despite the fact that the measure isn’t slated for introduction until 2025/26), I don’t know what is.
I’ll be stocking up on snacks for the night and hope that many of you will join us for our post budget webinar on the 10th.