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Wall Street fears workers could be all replaced by AI

by on19 October 2017

Why do we need you expensive psychos?

Wall Street is facing up to the fact that most of its workers will be replaced by AI, and the wolves of Wall Street will be consigned to the dust bin of history.

 Bloomberg reported how a a top executive at a major Wall Street bank was deep into his spiel on how artificial intelligence will make the firm smarter and leaner when he let slip that AI was going to eliminate most jobs.

“That’s a private view. I think we’re just starting to feel that”, he said.

Publicly, Wall Street is upbeat, predicting machines will perform all repetitive tasks, freeing humans to focus on more valuable pursuits. However, they are really worried about what is about to happen to their staff - and what to tell them.

Consulting outfit McKinsey estimates machines are ready to assume roughly a third of the work now performed by banks’ rank and file.

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon predicted in June that his workforce will more likely grow than shrink over the next 20 years.

Dimon has tried to suggest that it will also creates opportunities, although no one is sure what they will be.

Machines will take over task after task, they said, and banks simply won’t need nearly as many people.

Simon Moss, who has been advising banks and investing firms as head of Grant Thornton LLP’s fintech and innovation practice for the industry, warned that senior managers were sugarcoating what is going to happen to their industry and they needed to stop.

He said there were no jobs in the financial industry which could not be replaced by AI and it is about time that Wall Street stops pretending.

Early adopters like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of New York Mellon are experimenting, he said. They’re working with tech including machine-learning software that improves itself by searching data for patterns, and natural-language processing, which helps computers comprehend human speech. Once firms figure out how to deploy those, rivals may quickly follow suit. Humans will have less to do, and banks will whittle costs by shrinking headcount.

“Sitting with excess capacity is not a good business decision’’, Moss said. “Managers should start warning employees that they need to learn more skills to stay on.”

Last modified on 19 October 2017
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