Artificial Intelligence: From Science Fiction to Financial Services

financial advisor artificial intelligence

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit the Technology Tools for Today conference in Las Vegas. Although many emerging technologies were presented throughout the event, it was the discussion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that really piqued my interest. Poised to become a major disruptor over the next few decades, AI will allow clients to consume and digest more information than ever before. It’s up to advisors to embrace this new technology, utilizing it to create an amazing client experience.

For more than half a century, books, movies and television shows have given us a glimpse into the futuristic world of AI. Modern advancements have literally turned fiction into reality, allowing machines to mimic human behavior. This happens in one of two ways: machine learning or deep learning. Machine learning uses algorithms to gather data, learn from it and then make a decision. Rather than hard coding software with one specific instruction, machine learning is aimed at recognizing patterns in data in order to come up with many potential solutions. If you’ve ever asked Google Home, Siri or Alexa a question, you’ve interacted with a system that is programmed with machine learning. In contrast, deep learning uses neural networks that imitate the brain.

A neural network is a computing system that connects one neuron to another, exchanging information in the process. For example, consider a computer which is given the task to look at millions of drawings and determine which of the illustrations are of dogs. Given assumptions about what a dog would look like, the neural network passes the images back and forth. After enough data is transferred between the neurons, they begin to learn from one another and become more accurate at identifying the pictures of a dog.  Want to test this theory out? Go into your photo app and search the word “dog.” With each passing year, AI makes unbelievable strides. Did you know that a robot was recently given citizenship in Saudi Arabia?  Check out the video of Sophia here.  Other bots that were designed by Facebook to be great negotiators ended up creating their own language and learning to lie.

As AI’s capabilities continue to grow the prospect of applying it to businesses can be both scary and full of endless possibilities. The key for advisors is to get in on the ground floor of AI. Do you remember when the Dow dropped 1000 points on August 24, 2015? If this happened with AI in place, advisors could keep track of who logged into their client dashboard that day to monitor value changes. AI could then automatically send an email to each of these clients reminding them of their risk profile, the reasoning behind their chosen investment strategy and the ways to contact their advisor. This is just one of the many applications of AI which could truly revolutionize our profession. As you look at the technology in your office today, are you ready to welcome the next wave of AI?

If you are already behind or are simply looking for a way to keep pace with constant changes in the tech realm, Carson Group Partners has a team dedicated to finding and implementing the most cutting edge solutions for firms of all sizes. Join our webinar on December 13 to learn about our integrated technology and see a live demo of our digital client experience.

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