AI, Big Data and Finance

A recent article in CFA Institute addresses the question of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) might impact the world of investing.

Investment professionals have watched AI emerge with what the article describes as “a mixture of excitement and anxiety,” wondering if the technology will eventually displace humans.

The application of both AI and big data, it argues, are likely to bring big change in the industry because they allow analysts to perform more thorough analysis and improve the decision-making process for portfolio managers. “We now not only have access to more and different varieties of information, but also more timely—even real-time—information. Put another way, as analysts we no longer have to go the extra mile to turn over a rock. We can apply satellite data and look under many unturned rocks much more quickly,” the article says, adding that the introduction of machine learning and deep learning facilitates data crunching in “countless new ways.”

But the article argues that while AI will transform investment management, it isn’t “the mass extinction event for human investment managers that many fear.” Instead, the article concludes: “The expectation for future investment professionals is that they will need T-shaped skills—specialized investment knowledge along with enough technology and ‘soft’ skills to work with the data scientists on their teams. Tech professionals on the investment team will also need to know about investing.”

The changing industry landscape, the article concludes, means that those who can adapt and evolve will avoid obsolescence.