Artificial Intelligence

Share This Post

What can be said about Artificial Intelligence (AI) that hasn’t already been said? Frankly…nothing. It is obviously the current buzzword and major influencer in the stock market. We imagine CEOs of publicly traded companies scrambling around headquarters, asking “Do we do anything even remotely considered AI? Great! Issue a press release!”

But like a lot of (seemingly) new things, within the overwhelming hype and hyperbole, there can be legitimacy. And as has always been the case, technological innovation such as the internet, AI is a significant gamechanger that is here to stay whether we like it or not. (Speaking of “not”, you may have heard of a recent petition to Congress from some of the creators of AI requesting a moratorium on its advancement until some issues are ironed out.)

Technological advancements often seem to come out of nowhere, but they rarely do. Artificial intelligence has been around for over a decade and the foundation upon which it is being developed even longer. Internet search engines are rudimentary forms of AI. And we have all seen documentaries featuring self-learning and creative robots, another utilization of AI. So, AI didn’t really come out of nowhere, but the hype and buzzword did!

So, what should we think about the inevitability of more and more “artificial intelligence”? First and foremost, we need to be aware of it and how it might affect if not influence us. Sadly, this alone seems a tall order these days, when so many people seem to rely much more on social or mainstream media than their own critical thinking. Much of AI is little more than a composite of what has been collected by social media. In other words, it isn’t always even “intelligence” but rather popular opinion.

But even this danger isn’t as new as it seems. Some of us remember our grandparents believing that if it is in writing, it must be true. “Suddenly” tabloids became popular and some of the things our grandparents believed from the tabloids was actually embarrassing. “No, Gramp, I don’t believe disguised reptilian Martians are all around us.” (It kind of begs the question: Was there ever really a time when, because it was in writing, it must be true? No, but maybe it was more likely to be true “back then”.) Then and now a dose of skepticism is required.

Alternatively, there will be many benefits to AI. For example, autonomous driving (also inevitable, like it or not) will REQUIRE AI. While AI is not required for the vehicle to know where it is or even what it is sharing the road with, it will be required to anticipate rapidly changing circumstances (such as a deer or stroller suddenly crossing its path). Early forest fire identification is rapidly and legitimately improving due to AI. One of its most intriguing and universally respected uses is the many ways it will assist those with disabilities.

What about investment management and financial planning? Might there be a role for AI in either, or both, of these fields? At this phase, we can envision utilizing AI as a tool but not (yet?) as a replacement for human involvement. Currently AI lacks imagination and knowledge of the individual investor and their unique circumstances. As for artificial intelligence leading to cars with no steering wheels, we hope those aforementioned AI creators included this in their request for a moratorium.

The information contained in this blog does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Steve Gideon and Jordan Dowers and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.