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This Financial Advisor Just Tried to Prove She Can't Be Replaced by AI. Here's Why She’s Wrong




Recently, I’ve read an article in Fortune. The article pitted ChatGPT against a human financial advisor for retirement planning advice. The author concluded that while AI is making strides, human expertise remains irreplaceable for now. As an AI enthusiast, I have to disagree.


The article gamely tested if ChatGPT could prescribe retirement savings guidance as expertly as an advisor. The author gave both the same hypothetical scenario and assessed their responses. She argued the bot came up short, unable to tailor a plan or learn from mistakes. Fair critiques today, but rapid AI progress suggests obsolescence may come quicker than we think.


Take the claim that ChatGPT hyper-focused on calculating a number rather than customizing a plan. That point seems trivial - especially in light of rapidly improving models. Newer AI like Anthropic's Claude excels at conversational flow and clarifying questions. And I have no doubt that very quickly some fintech/AI startup will fill exactly this space.


The author also noted ChatGPT currently can't learn from errors like miscalculating savings goals. However, models are already being retrained on feedback to eliminate past mistakes. And essentially this is likely just a computing limitations - I might be misinformed but this does not sound like something dumping millions of chips at the problem could not fix.


One argument, however, I’ve found super dubious: the advisor argued replacing human judgment would be dangerous, insisting "feelings" matter as much as figures. Oh my goodness. Relying on biased humans is precisely what led many into current retirement crises. AI without conflicts could greatly improve advice. There already is a profession providing feelings advice: it’s called therapy.


The conclusion was that ChatGPT should merely assist human advisors. But rapid innovation suggests the reverse may soon be true. Rather than defend old models, financial experts should embrace that AI may surpass them through impartiality and tireless improvement.


The urgency of articles justifying human superiority exposes that generative AI already threatens these jobs more than experts admit. When professions start self-advocating this fervently, disruption is often closer than it appears.


Yes, bots remain flawed today. But treating them as eternal "aides not oracles" overlooks how quickly capability can advance. Innovators should confidently build an accessible future, not rationalize the status quo. AI can democratize expertise - and we should celebrate that fact rather than circle the wagons.


*Cover image crafted using Midjourney. Want to see how it was made? Check out the creative prompt used: "*A human financial advisor in a suit sitting at a desk looking puzzled at a futuristic ChatGPT robot with a smiling face and money signs flashing in its eyes that is standing nearby. The robot's shadow casts over the advisor. Background is a stock chart going down. Hyperdetailed photography, photorealistic. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera. – - poor quality, ugly, cartoon, blurry”


Disclaimer: This blog post was authored by a human, but research and editing assistance was provided by artificial intelligence.


Key Takeaways:

  • The original article argued human financial advisors remain irreplaceable by AI like ChatGPT for now, but rapid progress suggests their lead may vanish quicker than we think.

  • Key claims that ChatGPT can't tailor plans or learn from mistakes overlook capabilities already emerging in the latest AI systems.

  • Rather than defending the status quo, the financial advice industry should embrace AI's potential to democratize expertise through rapid improvement and impartiality.

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