Web Analytics

What does AI mean for you?

Cast your mind back to 2002. If you had a Nokia 3310, a first generation iPod and an extensive DVD collection, you had it all. There were dial-up related arguments and if you owed someone money you’d have to head to the nearest cash machine, but we’d never had it so good. 

Who’d have thought just 20 years later we’d have checkout-free supermarkets and self-driving cars? Technology is progressing so rapidly, it’s no wonder that the number one question on everybody’s lips is: “Will AI take my job?”

It isn’t an entirely new concern. Tech experts, economists and policy makers have been looking for ways to embrace technology without making half the population redundant for quite some time. In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang writes: “The market rewards business leaders for making things more efficient. Efficiency doesn’t love normal people.”

Checkout staff, truck drivers and couriers, for example, are predicted to be among the first to be replaced by robots, with businesses looking for more cost effective and efficient ways to meet customer demand. 

Even creatives, medical professionals and financial planners *gulp* will experience a shift in the next decade or so. You only need to spend 20 minutes typing questions into ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to see what we’re up against.

But as I’m about to explain, ChatGPT, DALL-E and similar tools needn’t be feared

Focus on the positives

Artificial intelligence will make your life easier, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. 

It can relieve you of the most time-consuming tasks and give you more time and energy to deal with the creative, thoughtful, human-centred stuff. 

Technology already plays a big part in our financial planning service. We use it to help clients visualise, design and build their perfect future. It helps us manage large amounts of data, keep up-to-date with market changes and communicate with clients. 

What does this mean for other professions? AI can be immensely valuable in the creative industries. It can onboard clients, brief team members and provide data-driven insights that inform creative decisions. You can ditch boring and repetitive admin, focusing on experimentation and creativity instead.

In hospitals and surgeries, AI can book appointments, send reports, and even make referrals. It can crawl patient records and data to make quicker and more accurate diagnoses. 

This can lower costs, improve patient outcomes and reduce the pressure placed on overworked medical professionals. Of course, humans will still be needed for the most meaningful interactions. Few patients would want to be given a life changing diagnosis from a robot. Can robots assess patients’ needs and worries in real time before delivering information in an appropriate manner? Not yet. 

In her docu-series Chelsea Does, Chelsea Handler has a conversation with BINA48, a robot using voice recognition and dictation software. The robot repeatedly interrupts her, takes too long to reply to questions and accuses the comedian of being uninteresting. 

In BINA48’s defence, the series was filmed in 2015. She’s come a long way since then, even completing a philosophy course at Notre Dame de Namur University in California. 

However, the fact remains that AI can’t empathise. Planning your finances can mean talking about difficult subjects. If someone has questions about inheritance tax, it might also come at a time when they’re coming to terms with a death in the family. Making adjustments to your investment horizons might be due to a change in circumstances like serious illness. It’s never just moving figures about on a spreadsheet.

Dr Kate Devlin, reader in AI and Society at King's College, London suggests technology is more likely to help humans, rather than replace them: "It's difficult and expensive to make a robot that can do multiple or general tasks. Instead, it's easier and more useful to create assistive technology that helps us rather than replaces us," she said.

So perhaps we need to think of AI like a virtual assistant — though I’m not suggesting that human virtual assistants are replaceable just yet. By outsourcing the tasks that tech does well, we’ll have more time to focus on the things we humans excel at.

We’re built for progress

Humans are a resilient bunch, built for progress and change. Many of the jobs that exist now would’ve made absolutely no sense in the ‘70s. Equally, modern and innovative jobs from 50 years ago would have baffled job seekers from 100 years ago. 

We tend to figure things out as we go along, using our skills in whatever way we can. 

You might have seen that a campaign is underway to encourage companies to adopt The 4 Day Week, following a six-month trial which highlights the benefits for employers and employees alike. 

As artificial intelligence evolves, what if we could get the work week down to three days or even two? It’s hard to imagine now, but so many of the benefits we have today would’ve been unheard of in the past. In the 19th century, children had to work in the mines. Now they have iPads! 

Think about how you’d like to spend your time

If you’re passionate about what you do or you’ve worked in the same industry for many years, it’s only natural for your career to become part of your identity. 

You can find yourself sacrificing family time, hobbies and even sleep. If we take just one thing from the rise in automation and AI, perhaps it’s that there’s more to life than working?

If technology can do your job — or at least some elements of it — is it worth sacrificing the aspects of your life that can’t be delegated to a robot?

Perhaps a time will come when the government introduces a Universal Basic Income (UBI), where every adult is given free money each month, regardless of their wealth, employment, or productivity. UBI may be controversial and the specifics remain unclear, but it has supporters from across the political spectrum. 

During a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session in 2016, a moderator asked Stephen Hawking: "Do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated?" 

Hawking replied: "If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared." 

Automation has the ability to completely transform the way we work in future — and whether we even have to work at all. If work became optional, would we become a nation of couch potatoes? Most studies suggest the opposite. 

We could prioritise work that makes it easy to get out of bed in the morning. We could be there for our children, immerse ourselves in passion projects, start businesses, exercise, and live more fulfilling lives. 

If you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time? This is a question I ask clients when they’re thinking about retirement. Will you travel? Take up a new hobby? Spend more time with family and friends? Whatever you decide, why wait? AI could help us achieve the work/life balance we’ve been craving long before we reach the State Pension age.

More Blog Posts

Copy here introducing the client stories section and examples of testimonials

We’re inviting you to write a postcard to your future self

Every night for the past few days I’ve been reading a fantastic children’s book to my son Charlie. The book is called You Choose and it gives children the tools to tap into their imagination, pull things out and fulfil their fantasies.
Learn More

Thinking about your inheritance and feeling guilty?

If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you might be experiencing the weird phenomenon that is: watching your parents get old...
Learn More

What would you do with 100 years?

In 2017 I read a book called ‘The 100 year Life’, by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott. The book covers many fascinating themes, but the basic premise is that a child born 100 years ago (Captain Tom Moore, for example) had a 1% chance of living to 100. Whereas research predicts that 33% of children born today will live to be 100.
Learn More