Peter Diamandis
Peter Diamandis talks about the how technology will change the future. (Photo by

How to think about artificial intelligence

Credit unions must adapt to rapidly accelerating exponential technologies.

February 27, 2023

Peter Diamandis is known as a futurist. But the author and entrepreneur is also amazed by the present.

“We are living in the most extraordinary time in human history,” the founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation said during his Open Lending-sponsored keynote Monday at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.

What’s so extraordinary about today? Technology’s existential leaps forward, and how people adapt to those leaps.

“Technology is a force that makes whatever was scarce in the past more abundant,” Diamandis says, noting that technological advancements are leading to an abundance of energy, food, and potentially workers if artificial intelligence (AI) continues to progress. 

As computational power continues to double, AI, sensors, robotics, blockchain, and more technologies are converging to reinvent the future and transform business models.

“It’s hard to keep up,” Diamandis says. “There will be two kinds of companies at the end of this decade. Those who are fully utilizing AI, and those who are out of business.”

AI’s impact has been seen in recent months with the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. As Diamandis says, ChatGPT “scanned everything on the internet and built a statistical model of what’s likely to come next.” So, if a student asks ChatGPT to write a paper on a specific topic, the AI only needs several parameters to accomplish the task.

Diamandis suggests credit unions consider four main capabilities when thinking about generative AI:

  1. Ideate. Using AI to support brainstorming.
  2. Create. AI can create written content, videos, audio, images, graphics, and codes.
  3. Customize. Customize general material for specific audiences or uses.
  4. Extract. Extract specific insights from large bodies of data.

With those functionalities entering the marketplace and companies in what Diamandis calls an “AI arms race,” he suggests credit unions start talking about using AI. Most importantly, he asks credit union leaders to ask themselves: “What business are we really in?”

Having a firm grasp on the movement’s end goals, such as financial well-being for all, allows leaders to adapt to new technology while continuing to focus on serving their members.

“How do you use the changing technology to serve your members better?” Diamandis asks. “AI is probably the most important tool we have for helping us solve humanity’s grandest challenges.”

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