Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, is planning his first visit to mainland China in four years as the American bank prepares to host three conferences in Shanghai at the end of May.
Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase is developing a ChatGPT-like software service that leans on a disruptive form of artificial intelligence to select investments for customers, CNBC has learned.

The company applied to trademark a product called IndexGPT this month, according to a filing from the New York-based bank.

IndexGPT will tap “cloud computing software using artificial intelligence” for “analyzing and selecting securities tailored to customer needs,” according to the filing.

The viral success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology last year has forced entire industries to grapple with the arrival of artificial intelligence. ChatGPT, which uses massive language models to create human-sounding responses to questions, has ignited an arms race among tech giants and chipmakers over what is seen as the next foundational innovation.

The technology has a range of possible uses in finance. Banks including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have already begun testing it for internal use. That includes ways to help Goldman engineers create code or answer Morgan Stanley financial advisors‘ queries.

First mover?

But JPMorgan may be the first financial incumbent aiming to release a GPT-like product directly to its customers, according to Washington D.C.-based trademark attorney Josh Gerben.

“This is a real indication they might have a potential product to launch in the near future,” Gerben said.

“Companies like JPMorgan don’t just file trademarks for the fun of it,” he said. The filing includes “a sworn statement from a corporate officer essentially saying, ‘Yes, we plan on using this trademark.'”

JPMorgan must launch IndexGPT within about three years of approval to secure the trademark, according to the lawyer. Trademarks typically take nearly a year to be approved, thanks to backlogs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, he said.

The applications are typically vaguely written to give companies the broadest possible protections, Gerben said.

But JPMorgan’s filing does specify that IndexGPT uses the same flavor of A.I. popularized by ChatGPT; the bank plans to use A.I. powered by “Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) models.”

“It’s an A.I. program to select financial securities,” Gerben said. “This sounds to me like they’re trying to put my financial advisor out of business.”

JPMorgan declined to comment for this article.

Middlemen fears

Financial advisors have long feared the arrival of technology good enough to displace their role in markets. Those fears have largely yet to materialize.

Wealth management firms, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America’s Merrill, offer simple roboadvisor services, but that hasn’t stopped their human advisors from gathering billions of dollars more in assets.

Earlier this week, executives at JPMorgan touted their progress in applying A.I. across operations at the company’s annual investor conference.

The bank, which employs 1,500 data scientists and machine-learning engineers, is testing “a number of use cases” for GPT technology, said global tech chief Lori Beer.

“We couldn’t discuss A.I. without mentioning GPT and large language models,” Beer said. “We’ve recognized the power and opportunity of these tools and are committed to exploring all the ways they can deliver value for the firm.”

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