Cashing in on ChatGPT
In the past six months, you’ve likely heard the buzz surrounding ChatGPT, the groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that has captured the attention of tech enthusiasts and novices alike with its remarkable ability to generate human-like text responses when given a prompt.
Since its November debut, most ChatGPT outputs have focused on linguistic tasks, such as analyzing and summarizing literary content, autonomously generating essays and poems and translating text into multiple languages. However, as a group of Bentley students recently demonstrated, ChatGPT can also be used to optimize financial returns.
In March, Bentley’s CIS Sandbox and Lab for Economics, Accounting and Finance (LEAF) co-sponsored the university’s first-ever Fintech and ChatGPT Hackfest. Increasingly popular on college campuses, hackfests — also known as hackathons or codefests — are competitions that challenge participants to develop tech-based solutions to address a specific issue or problem. During Bentley’s event, which focused on fintech, or financial technology, teams of students competed to develop currency trading strategies using ChatGPT and TradingView, a cloud-based market analysis platform for investment traders.
“This competition was an exercise in quantitative trading, a highly specialized field that uses mathematical and statistical models to identify and capitalize on trading opportunities,” explains Chase Cicchetti, director of the LEAF and a lecturer in Finance. “Since one of ChatGPT’s strengths is the ability to understand, write and even debug programming codes, we wanted to see if students could utilize the program to produce an effective algorithmic currency trading strategy.”
The first-place team — consisting of graduating seniors Hiren Gugnani ’23, Tomás Hahn ’23, Diego Pardilla ’23 and Megan Winslow ’23 — proved it was possible, developing a trading strategy that paired the Swiss franc and Japanese yen and generated a 303.49% profit over a 10-year period. While Gugnani admits their experience involved “some trial and error,” the Finance major and Computer Information Systems (CIS) minor, who will be working as a business technology analyst for Deloitte after graduation, attributes the team’s success to a mix of “curiosity and ambition” combined with prior ChatGPT experience gained both in and outside of their Bentley classrooms.
“I began using ChatGPT shortly after its initial release and quickly grasped its potential to revolutionize the way we work and live,” says Hahn, a CIS major and president of the Bentley chapter of BRASA, a global association for Brazilian students. His familiarity with the platform helped his team fine-tune their approach. “We trained ChatGPT to understand our desired outcome by feeding it targeted information, such as the investment persona our algorithm should emulate, the specific currencies we wanted to focus on, and our preferred programming language,” Hahn explains. “By incorporating stop-loss mechanisms and closely monitoring our profit margin, we were able to create an effective trading program.”
Hahn credits events like the Hackfest and the CIS Sandbox’s long-running Topics in Tech series with “providing access to cutting-edge tools and offering hands-on opportunities to explore emerging technologies to find innovative business solutions.” He notes that ChatGPT Plus is available for use on all LEAF computers, and that the university’s Hughey Center for Financial Services, also known as the Trading Room, offers access to comprehensive financial databases such as Bloomberg Terminals and FactSet.
Overall, Hahn says, “Bentley University has made a commendable effort to help students comprehend disruptive technologies.”