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future-proof-mstar.jpg Photo by Rob Burgess
(L-R) Apex CEO Bill Capuzzi, Betterment CEO Sarah Levy, Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor and Ryan Lawler of Axios at Future Proof.

Morningstar Launches Enterprise Analytics Platforms and API For Mo Chatbot

The announcements came Monday as Future Proof kicks off in Huntington Beach, Calif.

To kick off the start of Future Proof in Huntington Beach, Calif., Morningstar announced Monday the upcoming launch of Enterprise Analytics, a set of business intelligence dashboards in the firm’s Advisor Workstation, and the API debut of Mo, its recently released AI chatbot.

Enterprise Analytics Rolling Out

Enterprise Analytics seeks to help identify data, including the percentage of proposals that may pose a regulatory risk, month-over-month trends in proposal volume and breakdown of most frequently proposed asset classes, according to the company.

Lee Davidson, Morningstar’s chief analytics officer, said these platforms have been in development for around three or four months, but “the potential has been sitting there for years.”

The Compliance Dashboard will be available at the end of the month and identifies potential violations of the SEC marketing rule, the Department of Labor rollover rule or the Canadian client-focused reforms regulation, among others.

The Insights Dashboard will be available near the end of this year and seeks to provide an overview of a firm’s investment recommendations.

The Performance Dashboard will debut in the first half of next year and will illustrate how a firm’s advisors perform against others in the industry.

API for Mo Released

After first being announced in April, the API for Mo has now been released. Firms can now use the chatbot, which is trained on Morningstar’s data, to develop new generative AI applications.

The AI chatbot runs on the OpenAI platform and is combined with digital avatar technology from New Zealand company Soul Machines.

Questions are converted to text, transmitted to the OpenAI model and analyzed using more than 100,000 Morningstar data points to generate an answer. A text answer is then converted back to speech for Mo the Avatar to deliver the answer.

To fight the problem of "hallucinations," where chatbots make errors and give information that not only cannot be true but are absurd statements that defy logic, Lee said the company inserted guardrails into the program against entering into certain areas of inquiry.

On stage at Future Proof on Sunday, Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor said advisors shouldn’t feel daunted by the rapid introduction of AI, but that it will change the way advisors interact with clients. This is especially true with personified versions, like Mo.

For example, when clients ask questions of text chatbots, Kapoor said the questions tend to be very technical. Not so with Mo.

“You start reading the questions that are being asked of the same chatbot but with a human face and suddenly there are all these personal questions that they normally would be asking you,” he said. “Your clients are going to be comfortable not requiring you to pick up the phone and answer every question for them in the way that you’ve been used to. … It’ll take some time to shake out, but your clients are going to ask a lot of personal stuff to the AI, maybe more so than you. And you’re going to have to be comfortable with that.”

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