Just call me Parker m'lady

After the excesses of the festive period I’m having a dry January and February. This has pleased my wife no end as it means I am now the designated chauffeur for all events, including her Prosecco-fuelled get-togethers with friends. Just call me Parker m’lady.

If the news coming out the of the recent CES technology conference in the States is anything to go by, soon she won’t need me to taxi her and her friends back from a night out as driverless cars will be on hand to do the work. It’s predicted that in less than 10 years we can expect to see driverless vehicles taking over the roads.

Aside from cars, the main theme from the conference seemed to be about how artificial intelligence – or AI – is about to completely revolutionise our world. One article I read suggested that if your child was considering studying law at university, stop them because AI will be able to do a much better job than any human lawyer can so the job will become obsolete in the not too distant future. Other careers, such as medicine are also likely to be turned on their heads.

We’re already seeing the impact of technology in financial services, with robo-advice the hot topic during 2016. Any financial advisers who have followed the media coverage that came out as a result of the CES conference will no doubt be reappraising their attitude to technology and wondering just what impact the robots will have on the industry in the near future.

Time will tell just what impact AI will have on financial services as a whole but, in 2017 at least, advisers have the opportunity to harness the technology that exists and shape their businesses to offer the benefits of AI alongside the specialist knowledge, expertise and – perhaps most importantly – social intelligence they can bring to the table.

Robots may be clever at algorithms and processes but when planning for long-term financial security, they are no substitute for a real person with the skills to listen and advise on how to achieve it.