Clouds Ahead: AI Wonders and Troubles

Personal Money Planning |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

Every professional will relate to stories of clients who come in and wonder why, or why not, they are doing something based on what they read on the Internet or heard around the lunchroom table. The problem isn’t that they bring up a concern (that’s smart), but that so often their source of “facts” is misleading, outdated, or just plain wrong.

While no doubt artificial intelligence (AI) is plotting, Terminator-style, to eliminate us humans, currently it can be quite useful…and quite problematic. To test this, I asked ChatGPT to write a biography of Gary Silverman, a financial advisor working in Wichita Falls, Texas.

In just a few seconds out I popped. Or at least an article that purports to be me. Enough of it is true that someone who knows me only casually might assume that all of it was correct.

It was not.

I was told that Gary “is a prominent figure in the field of finance”. Well, I won’t dispute that, true or not. “With years of experience and a strong commitment to helping individuals achieve financial success, he has established himself as a trusted advisor in the community.” Maybe I should put this on the back of my business cards. “Gary’s dedication to his studies led him to pursue a degree in finance at Texas State University.”


I’m a graduate from Miami Christian and earned an MBA from the University of Dallas. I’ve taught finance, but while I admire their beautiful campus, I’ve never attended Texas State, let alone earned a finance degree there. Well, one mistake isn’t too bad, I guess.

“At Silverman Financial, Gary and his team…” Hold it. Did we change our name? [Making a call…be patient…]. No, I checked with our current CEO, Michelle, and she assures me that I still work at Personal Money Planning, LLC. So, I looked up Silverman Financial. It seems to be an insurance-centric financial firm out in Florida. The owner, who I share a last name with, seems like a nice guy, but looking at his picture is not at all like looking in a mirror.

In this 8th installment of my whacking-you-with-a-fish series, what I’m trying to point out is that you need to be careful when reading an article or watching a video on the internet, whether it comes from a human or AI. That even includes reading what I write because I have been known to make a boo-boo from time to time.

And let’s not ignore that some people say, post, and create content (including authentic-looking pictures and videos) that are designed to deceive. I gave you an example of that earlier in this series.

Be careful out there. Check your sources. Get multiple ones while you are at it. (Watch out because sometime different sources source the same wrong material themselves.) And, when in doubt, hire an expert.

See you next week.