5 Key Generative AI Takeaways from IBA Mega Conference 2024

By Ryan Pleggenkuhle on May 30, 2024

Generative AI Emerges as Major Theme at #IBAMega This Year.

Earlier this month, Derek Baker and I had the opportunity to attend and present at the 2024 Indiana Bankers Association (IBA) Mega Conference in Indianapolis.

Believe it or not, around 100 attendees came to see our presentation, titled “Practical Applications for Generative AI in Your Bank.” (I think they were drawn in by our bright orange Vans®!)

Generative AI was among the primary focal points of the conference, so our presentation fit right in.

While I can’t give you every takeaway from our session (you just had to be there), in this article, I’ll share with you the 5 key takeaways from it, as well as my response to a challenging question I received from an attendee.


Takeaway Differentiator-1 Are banks actually using GenAI? Absolutely!

According to a recent study in The Financial Brand, over a third of large bank executives believe GenAI will begin driving major cost savings over the next five years.

How are these banks using GenAI? Here are the top five areas:

  1. 57%: Preparing Emails, Documents, and Presentation Tools
  2. 55%: Preparing New Marketing Content – Ads, Offers, and Social Media Posts
  3. 50%: Assisting in Software Application and Coding
  4. 49%: Producing Financial Reports and Prospectuses
  5. 49%: Summarizing Capital Markets Research for Investment Decision-Making and Client Briefings


  • While ChatGPT is great for brainstorming, it needs HUMAN OVERSIGHT to truly be effective.
  • Be sure you’re not inputting personal identifiers, financial records, proprietary information, or other sensitive information into ChatGPT.

Takeaway Differentiator-2 You’re an AI user (whether you realize it or not).

If you’ve ever used a calculator, Spellcheck, GPS, Siri®, social media, or searched on Google, guess what? You’ve experienced AI!

Many people perceive AI to be scary – certainly understandable, given there are still plenty of unknowns. However, you should know that AI has been around for several decades (since the 1950s to be exact).

Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from potentially reaping the benefits of AI, specifically GenAI.


Takeaway Differentiator-3 Wait, aren’t AI and GenAI the same thing? Not Exactly …

AI is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Think about how you use GPS. You give it a prompt (a destination), and it gives you a set output (a route).

AI is effective when it’s given the right data; however, traditional AI is somewhat limited in its ability to adapt to new scenarios.

GenAI takes things to the next level!

With GenAI, you can create (generate) content like text, images, audio, video, or code when prompted by a user.

This is because GenAI is connected to large language models (LLMs), which can track context, allowing it to produce on-topic, human-like text in response to the prompts it receives.


Takeaway Differentiator-4 What GenAI tools are community bankers using?

To gauge where the audience was in their GenAI journey, I asked them: “How many of you actively use generative AI tools, like ChatGPT?”

I estimate that 20-25 people raised their hands, indicating some exposure to GenAI at the community bank level.

In addition to ChatGPT, what tools are they using?

I overheard multiple attendees mention that they use Microsoft® Copilot AI, an all-encompassing AI platform that creates content, summarizes and edits documents, provides quick replies with email suggestions, and more. One attendee described Copilot as “the easiest way to get your foot in the door using generative AI.”

As a Content Manager, the three GenAI tools I use most are:

  1. Plaud AI. A voice recorder app that uses AI technology to transcribe speech into text in multiple languages. I use Plaud to transcribe interviews and meetings, summarize those conversations, and create outlines for blog articles using the conversation “mind map” it provides. This tool can also translate text into 57 different languages, which could be advantageous if you have clients who don’t speak English. (Note: The translation function isn't "fool proof." Be sure to verify the accuracy of translations.)
  2. Grammarly. The Premium version serves as a comprehensive writing assistant. It’s not only your copy editor, its plagiarism check feature allows you to see if any of your text has been used elsewhere on the web. You can also take advantage of its “Generative AI” writing feature if you’d like assistance cleaning up your copy, or if you’d like to see it written in another style.
  3. ChatGPT. An excellent tool for brainstorming, writing routine copy, and summarizing content and data.

Takeaway Differentiator-5 What’s your policy?

We also discussed the “cautions” of using GenAI, such as hallucinations, unrealized human biases, and potential legal and regulatory concerns. The important takeaway here is to have an AI policy in place to keep your institution protected from AI misuse. It should provide guidance for you and your employees who interact with AI, explain the risks involved, and provide instructions on how to use AI technologies effectively. AI policy framework exists in several places online if your institution needs help getting started. (Heck, if you ask ChatGPT to create an AI Policy for you, it will give you some ideas for framework. Just be sure to make it your own!) Another option is reaching out to professional AI policy consultants for assistance.


BONUS: Post-Presentation Question

I told you an attendee asked me a tough question after our session ended. He asked: “What do you think will happen to banks if they don’t incorporate generative AI – or if they restrict employee access to generative AI altogether?”

My response: “I think that bank is going to fall behind.”

I added (paraphrasing here): “When used effectively, GenAI provides a competitive edge. It has the potential to help you operate more efficiently, increase productivity, save costs, and improve quality … all things that boost your bottom line. It could be the biggest technological advancement since the advent of search engines (e.g., Google), so I think ignoring GenAI or completely prohibiting its use is unwise.”


Questions about this article? Email Ryan!

Topics: Generative AI

About The Author
Ryan Pleggenkuhle

With a strong passion for writing and years of financial training experience, Ryan brings a competitive, yet fun-loving spirit to the team. His devotion to storytelling, love for collaboration, and dedication to producing high-quality content makes him a terrific match for our clients.