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Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a hot topic right now, and for a good reason. In 2023 alone, 73% of businesses reported using AI in some capacity. Similarly, the virality of ChatGPT in 2022 has introduced millions of people to what is possible, not only now, but in the future. But this technology does more than plan your weekly dinners and give you recommendations for a family vacation. The rise of AI in the workplace is useful, especially in the construction finance industry. 

In this article, we’ll explore AI and ChatGPT, and how construction finance teams can leverage these tools for efficiency, productivity, and overall success. 

What is ChatGPT Anyway? 

 AI is a technology that emulates human intelligence. For example, think about Siri and Alexa, both are a type of AI that can help you answer questions, play music, or create a shopping list. They simulate human actions and make our lives easier because all we have to do is ask them to add potatoes to our grocery list or put on our favorite playlist and within seconds, it’ll happen.  

Of course, AI can be much more complex than that, and it is developing every day. AI encompasses machine learning and deep learning which involve algorithms, modeled after the human brain. They can learn from data that already exists to perform tasks and make predictions. 

We can already see AI being used in the construction industry in various ways, including: 

  • Project planning
  • Job site monitoring and security
  • Route traffic
  • Predict maintenance needs

One type of AI is ChatGPT. In short, ChatGPT is an AI language processor that uses open-source data to answer simple questions, synthesize information, write code, and more. It can be an extremely helpful tool for many professionals because it can save lots of time. However, while ChatGPT has many benefits, it poses some risks that you should consider. 

ChatGPT for Finance Teams: The Benefits and Risks 

Teams and organizations need to understand how to use ChatGPT with care. Using ChatGPT responsibly will keep proprietary company information secure while also boosting efficiency within your workflow. Let’s explore some of the risks and benefits associated with using ChatGPT, specifically for finance teams. 

The Risks 

Before we dive into all of the great ways ChatGPT can aid your team, we must first assume the risks. The first risk is accuracy. When you open ChatGPT in your browser, you’ll notice at the bottom of the screen, it says “ChatGPT can make mistakes. Keep this in mind as you are generating reports and answering complex questions.” When in doubt, fact-check.  

The second risk is security. ChatGPT is free to all meaning that your input is visible to everyone. Take caution not to input sensitive information. If you need it for data analysis purposes, we recommend using dummy data instead. 

It is important to note that while ChatGPT does provide many benefits in terms of efficiency and analytical capabilities, they should not replace human judgment or expertise in financial decision-making. 

The Benefits 

There are many benefits of using ChatGPT on your team. A few of them include providing detailed insights, streamlining processes, planning and estimating budgets, and helping leaders make better financial decisions. 

Detailed insights: ChatGPT can provide detailed insights because it can process large amounts of data very quickly. While analyzing data, it can recognize patterns and trends and summarize the findings in an easily digestible way. This can also help you communicate with cross-functional teams and stakeholders. 

Streamline processes: ChatGPT can automate mundane tasks like compliance checks or risk management. By streamlining some of your team’s processes, you will have more time to take care of more complex problems. 

Plan and estimate budgets: When it comes to budgeting, ChatGPT has got your back. Not only can it automate your budget analysis, but it can also provide recommendations and adjustments. It can handle forecasting, which can save your team countless hours. In addition, ChatGPT makes it easier to keep other teams in the know because it can summarize reports and translate finance jargon into layman's terms. 

Better decision making: Because ChatGPT can quickly analyze financial data, it can present findings quickly too. This makes it much easier for your finance team to draw conclusions and decide how to move forward as an organization. Just be sure that your finance team fact-checks the data before presenting any findings. 

Training: While training your team can be time-consuming, you must equip your workers with the knowledge and resources they need to do their jobs well. Proper training involves clear documentation, hands-on learning, and guidance from peers. To save time and resources on training, use ChatGPT. ChatGPT can serve as a knowledge base for your team members to ask more general finance questions. In addition, ChatGPT can create training materials like guides and how-to documents so that managers can spend the bulk of their time diving into specific questions that people may have after they have a general understanding.  

AI and the Future 

While the rise of AI may seem new and uncharted, it is quickly paving the way for the future of work. Rather than shying away from such technologies, embrace them. Become comfortable with them and encourage your team to familiarize themselves with ChatGPT. We’ve learned that there are many ways this software can enhance productivity and efficiency on your finance team, and we’ve also learned what to be mindful of as you navigate through it.  

AI and ChatGPT aren’t going anywhere but forward. The reality is that it will change how we, as humans, work. AI will replace many transactional, entry-level positions, but that isn't something we should be afraid of, this is something we should embrace. With more basic tasks being automated, this leaves so much room for human creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. By starting to incorporate ChatGPT and other AI tools into your workflow, you and your team will be able to optimize how you work and have more time to tackle complex problems. You just might be surprised at how much you can accomplish with a little help from AI. 

How Construction Finance Teams Leverage ChatGPT and AI

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