“Every generation thinks that there’s will be the one to witness the end of the world.”
It is a saying so old that despite my amazing Google abilities, I cannot figure out who to credit for saying it first.
As in times past, we are infatuated with our demise. For now, we have put Armageddon, the Apocalypse, and Ragnarok in the back of our minds but not a day goes by without Artificial Intelligence threatening our existence.
Many would label me a Millennial due to my age, however, most people that know me say I exhibit traits closer to Gen Xers or even Boomers. I have old school tendencies toward human interaction and good music but I can also hold a PlayStation 4 controller without having a seizure. So, I see the world slightly different.
I am convinced that I will retire in a world where it will be commonplace to consult AI for everything from shopping to medical procedures. Manually driven cars will be the exception, brick and mortar may be as well. This is just the face of progress, it is not dissimilar from the advent of any historically disruptive technology. The computer rendered banks of typists obsolete, but there are still assistants, and there are also new roles computers have ushered in. So too will AI.
So where do Advisors fit in?
We already see the rise Robo Advisors. At this point they are mostly constrained to the algorithms that humans program into them. It is certainly possible that one day they will create their own, better, more efficient algorithms. After all, most planners will tell you that human investors are driven by emotions which causes them to buy high and sell low. Maybe advisors are also imperfect.
While this may seem like a bleak picture, there is one big hole that I do not think AI can fill. The human touch. Right now, someone can go online and sort through insurance, investments, shoes, homes, you name it. Yet they still ask friends, families, and experts before ultimately making choices, especially personal choices. That desire to consult with someone who knows what it is to be human, who can look you in the eyes, will not be eradicated due to 1s and 0s.
I am no Nostradamus but I think it’s safe to say that AI will absolutely change our lives in ways we haven’t even considered. Will it render seven billion human beings obsolete? Absolutely not!