Robo-advising, Rise of the Machines

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Over the last several decades industrial robots have made leaps and bounds moving into all sorts of domains including surgery.  Similarly with the ability to gather and analyse data at a massive scale a new form of robotic analytics is coming into its own.

A September report by Citigroup was titled Rise of Machines: Retail Revolution. Clearly the advantages that companies like Amazon.com have had by being able to understand both product and customer data are moving downstream into  other fields.

It is easy to see that Robo-advising will be a natural evolution as more behavioural and economic data becomes available. This will have a significant impact on the professional services field  in both a good way (it will clean up some of the lack of good consultants and decision-making) and bad ways, (computers are pretty crap at assessing psychosocial impact).

Rise of the machines may become rise of the mad AI scientist.

A better thought is how to integrate this into a holistic business practice. Rather than Robo-analytics displacing human input, using these tools as a multidisciplinary approach alongside smart experts.

Alan Froggatt

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