Feb 3, 2023
ETF Seizes on ChatGPT Buzz With a Focus on ‘Conversational’ AI
(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street’s $6 trillion ETF machine rarely lets a viral trend pass it by. OpenAI’s chatbot is no exception.
Enter the Conversational AI, AI and Innovation ETF, which would trade under the ticker CHAT. The actively-managed fund will seek to invest in global stocks that are primarily connected with artificial intelligence, with an emphasis on “conversational” AI and innovation, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday.
The filing describes AI across wide range of applications, including in self-driving cars, speech recognition, image recognition, natural language understanding and decision-making. “Conversational” AI, meanwhile, refers to technologies that enable automated messaging and programs like Open AI’s ChatGPT.
“The ETF industry is not one to let a hot trend or buzzword go to waste so it’s not surprising we see them jump all over the ChatGPT craze,” Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence said. “That said, these types of ETFs tend to struggle.”
Balchunas noted, for example, that the first-ever ETF centered on nonfungible tokens is preparing to liquidate by the end of the month — joining other funds that aimed to capture the zeitgeist, only to fail to attract funds as the momentum passed.
Still, this isn’t the first ETF to center around AI, which — unlike some other trends — is widely expected to become a major technological force in the years ahead. The $1.7 million WisdomTree Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Fund (ticker WTAI) was launched in December 2021 and is trading lower by 27% since its inception.
“Yes, there is a lot of buzz around the topic right now,” said Michael Venuto, chief investment officer at Tidal Financial Group and portfolio manager of the fund. But, he said, “conversational AI will be an important investment theme for many years.”
ChatGPT, which was first released in a public preview in November, attracted a million users in a matter of days. Often, the site has frequently been overloaded with traffic.
The company behind it last month signed an investment deal with Microsoft Corp. said to be worth $10 billion. It is also finding ways to cover the high operating costs since the chatbot requires far more computing power to answer a question than Google takes to respond to a web search.
On Wednesday, OpenAI said it will offer a premium subscription to use the service for $20 a month, allowing paying clients faster responses even during peak hours.
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