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AustralianSuper embraces generative AI amid technological transformation

By Rhea Nath
4 minute read

The mega fund is sharpening its focus on artificial intelligence with its latest technological transformation, which includes the establishment of a dedicated AI engineering team.

Australian mega funds have outlined intentions to leverage technological advancements such as leaning into generative artificial intelligence (AI) to improve member outcomes.

AustralianSuper, managing a $325 billion portfolio for over 3.3 million members, has unveiled a “significant technology transformation”, shifting to a new operating model that views technology as a key differentiator, poised to set the fund apart within its industry.

According to the fund’s chief technology officer, Mike Backeberg, AI is poised to play a pivotal role at AustralianSuper to drive better-informed decisions and create better member experiences.


The fund has actively used AI technologies since 2016, however, it said it has sharpened its focus on the technology with the arrival of new generative AI solutions.

“We aim to be thought leaders in the generative AI space,” Backeberg explained.

“Our core priority is to use it to improve member outcomes, both through the way we provide services and how we are using it to free up our people to focus more on higher-value tasks.”

The fund has since established a dedicated AI engineering team, which will bolster the fund’s AI maturity from its current position of one on a five-point scale, according to Backeberg.

“We believe it will take about 18 months for all our people to properly adopt generative AI because we have to think carefully about how we embed it into our processes,” he added.

With this, AustralianSuper has set a “conservative” target of boosting productivity by 5 per cent company-wide through AI implementation within the next year. But the fund anticipates that this productivity increase will more than offset the initial technology investment.

“With that kind of ROI, we don’t have to be too aggressive. Over the next few years, it’s probably going to be more like a 20 to 30 per cent increase in productivity, depending on the evolution and availability of AI technology,” Backeberg elaborated.

The super fund is among only 600 organisations globally to be invited to participate in the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Early Access Program (EAP), with around 260 active users since late 2023.

It has also participated in Microsoft’s Security Copilot EAP, operating with a small cyber defence team in a hybrid model alongside managed service partners, and is utilising GitHub Copilot to enhance the efficiency and creativity of its software development team by streamlining code creation and review.

Given this embrace of AI, AustralianSuper said it has established an AI Governance Forum to guide its approach to the technology and ensure it aligns with the fund’s member interests and values.

“Prepare now, start on a small scale and be ready to grow,” Backeberg stated.

“By the time AI becomes a necessity, you’ll be thankful for the groundwork laid today.”