An introspection for financial professionals

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Since industrialization, the technological boom continues its stride. The Industrial Revolution, in fact, improved the agricultural sector by bringing faster and more efficient ways for crop production. But in the end, every advancement in this planet cannot pass without waving adios to jobs. Yes, we saw a drastic changeover from labor-intensive systems to more capital intensive techniques.

But people moved on and enjoyed each and every innovation brought by mankind. But one recent change is revolutionizing the way things work. Something that makes the entire working population worry about the future. Artificial intelligence.

Now the only thing that robots haven’t yet mastered is decision-making and emotional intelligence. However, let’s not relax, machine learning and AI is at its stone age. We have already seen in movies how a system like Matrix can affect the entire mankind. We might pass through this stage just like humans dropped earlier jobs like ice cutters and a human alarm clock. But I doubt about the next generations, especially when the population curve is going to show medium projections.

Specialization was a joint product of the industrial revolution but now it is on its verge to become a by-product. For example, an accountant must now become a management accountant as we no longer need people for transaction processing. Even logical reasoning can be done with the help of set algorithms in various RPAs and AI processors. And at this age, everyone has to be a computer geek if not a fanatic. Python is no more a deadly snake for accountants but a value-adding skill set.

Humans were never mere survival-focused species. We always strive to be the kings and queens of our domain. But when there are programs coming up like IBM Watson, you don’t need to convince your limbic system to decide what stocks to buy. At least, money is just a piece of paper for the machines!

We have always believed that hard work pays off, so sweat now and shine later. This works only when we are competing in a Human Vs Human battle. But, in case you are not Tony Stark then the choicest way will be to work in cooperation with the machines. After all, if we can’t beat them then let’s join them.

When we make a business decision we think about the reasons for our findings and how did we reach such a conclusion. But once we are finished with the parallel and phased takeover by the machines, we will learn to trust them just like our ancestors did with pets and other domesticated animals.

When Sophia was created by humans, I was mind blown. We have become closer to Gods! But we still call her a humanoid. There are still more dots to be connected before a day comes when we can no longer identify the difference between a human and a machine. Do you want to see that day? Think again.

Scope of accounting and finance professionals are not limited to Business. They are educators as well. Since Luca Pacioli gave the world Debit and Credit, it has become the DNA of all accountants. In fact, it has become a periodic table for us. The basic rules of accounting are something the entire world follows in consensus even if there’s a fight over accounting standards by various standard boards.

Science undergoes unceasing changes. However, it’s limited to updates and discoveries of more unknowns without altering the basic principles. What I always felt sad about financial professionals is that something that you learn today could completely disappear tomorrow. Man will talk about Galileo Galilei until our extinction but let’s count the years for our dear Luca.

Keeping emotions aside, what always mattered is a better life. It’s not businesses that need to be going concerns. It’s the blood of finance- money. Everybody on this planet believes in one story. It’s not God, its money. You and I accept the numbers written on the coins and notes whether it’s in Arabic or English. However, well-planned propaganda is enough to make money no longer valuable, a day when a hundred-dollar bill is nothing but a mixture of cotton and linen!

As long as the functions of money are alive, there will always be something we can do. Later, on the doomsday, let’s go start an enterprise on Mars.