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Artificial Intelligence, or its short form AI,  is a term new to many people, but did you know that it has been around since the 1950s?  In fact, AI has already woven itself into our day to day lives.  While it is easier to identify certain technology that has been considered “life changing” such as the internet, social media and smart phones, AI helps drive these technological advancements.  The broader technology sector has grown from the smallest sector by weight in the S&P500 to the largest sector within a handful of decades, and the spillover effect of technology has transformed other industries leading to overall growth in the global economy. 

timeline of notable artificial intelligence systems

Timeline sourced from: Our World in Data 

Today, AI is being popularized once again with large companies spending billions of dollars to back chatbot programs like ChatGPT, Microsoft’s revamp of Bing and Google’s newly released Bard. While AI and technology have had a relatively short existence, the snowball effect is leading to new opportunities and concerns for what the future might hold. With more companies beginning to weigh in on the potential impact of this new tech landscape, Weatherly has been observing opportunities for investment, identifying potential concerns and embracing ways to enhance our client experience.     

The Good – AI Present and Future 

With new applications and possibilities, advancements in artificial intelligence have impacted almost every industry and profession. 

Education – Today, AI is being used to improve courses, grade papers and create interactive exams. The future holds a more personalized education system which can identify weaknesses and create teaching methods and  adaptive programs specific to a student’s special education needs and learning styles.  With AI to assist, students can have a more well-rounded knowledge base or choose to specialize in a certain area. 

Legal – Though AI is more likely to aid than replace attorneys in the near term, its use to review contracts, find relevant documents in the discovery process, and conduct legal research has helped to eliminate some of most tedious tasks for lawyers. The use of AI in the legal sector has the potential to improve the efficiency and accuracy of legal services, while also reducing the cost for clients. 

Health Care – While not a replacement for human doctors and healthcare providers, AI technologies have created unprecedented opportunities in the medical field. Currently, AI is being used to automate administrative tasks such as pre-authorizing insurance, following up on unpaid bills, and maintaining records. Additionally, the capabilities for AI powered programs to analyze vast amounts of data and detect information that may not be apparent to the human eye, can facilitate targeted cancer therapies such as radiation, and could lead to a radical impact on early detection of diseases, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. 

Travel/Transportation – At present, AI is very involved with how we get from point A to point B. Whether it’s a navigation app on a smart phone or an airline company using AI to determine ticket prices. With AI technology people can even be physically moved in a self-driving car. While this future is already here, it is still evolving and some consumers remain skeptical. 

The Bad – The Consequences and Concerns of AI in Society 

Despite its benefits, there are serious concerns about the impact of AI. Some of the major potential negatives to consider are: 

Job displacement – As machines and algorithms are able to perform tasks previously done by humans with superior speed and accuracy, there could be a potential for job losses in many industries.   

Bias and discrimination – AI systems have the potential to be biased and discriminatory if the data they are trained on is biased or designed with implicit biases. This can lead to unfair treatment and negative unintended consequences. 

Privacy- AI systems thrive on collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, including personal data. This raises major concerns about privacy and security. 

Lack of transparency – AI systems are complex and difficult to understand, making it especially difficult to determine how decisions are being made. This also raises concern for how to hold companies and organizations accountable for their actions when artificial intelligence was a factor in the decision-making process.

Ethical – Should machines and other AI software be granted legal rights? Can AI be trusted with decision making despite its lack of ethical, moral, and other human considerations? 

Although advancements are continuously occurring, it remains clear that technologies struggle to provide the meaning, value, and creativity that real humans can. 

AI and Weatherly 

At Weatherly, it is our intent to embrace the good technology has to offer and protect ourselves (and you) against the bad. We seek to identify new technology to advance our business and serve our clients in the most efficient way possible while remaining cognizant of overall risk.  

Our reporting tools are used to enhance what we do by analyzing a wide scope of data so that we can stay informed and provide accurate real-time updates. To help ensure our clients don’t outlive their assets, we use financial planning software and create alternative scenarios to outline future risks and opportunities. While we can generate countless reports and scenarios the true value and real understanding occurs when we verbalize the key outcomes. 

We have also fully embraced automation in processes such as account opening and document verification.  We have seen huge successes and advances in the turnaround times of account establishment through our custodian’s e-tools, as well as document verification through DocuSign e-signature. 

Additionally, we remain on high alert to the threat of cyber-attacks.  It is our best practice to utilize the Weatherly Portal for the secure exchange of information and are always happy to serve as a resource of how to protect yourself and loved ones against the ongoing threat of cybercrime.  Check out our 7 Steps to Better Cyber Security for some quick tips! 

At Weatherly we pride ourselves on providing high quality, holistic, and innovative wealth management service.  It is our duty to use and embrace technology in a responsible and ethical manner to enhance what we do, not as a replacement to our expertise and experience.    

We strive to pair human knowledge and common sense with modern technology to maximize efficiency and deliver information in an easy to digest way. 

 

Resources – 

https://ourworldindata.org/brief-history-of-ai  

https://builtin.com/artificial-intelligence  

https://www.pwc.com.au/digitalpulse/report-pwc-global-ceo-survey-ai-skills.html

** The information provided should not be interpreted as a recommendation, no aspects of your individual financial situation were considered. Always consult a financial professional before implementing any strategies derived from the information above.