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Can technology replace the human brain?

How artificial intelligence will shape the future of the finance sector is a constant source of debate, but now is the time to act and be positive, says April Warrier, co-chair of CASSL.

April Warrier

February 2018

Although not unique to the accountancy world, a hot topic within the industry has been whether artificial intelligence can replace human intelligence.

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Accountants starting their careers in finance in 2018 may have some concerns over machines potentially taking over their chosen finance profession in the future. However, changes in artificially intelligence can be challenging but wholly positive.

You can’t teach a machine ethics and this has been the centre of many debates. Ethics plays a vital role in ensuring public trust in financial reporting and business practices, which is difficult to obtain when trust is being placed within machinery. This factor alone may be enough to keep many professional practice roles a float.

With so much focus around how we are using machinery to replace jobs, we easily forget that new machines don’t bring experience, loyalty and innovation. These qualities are usually highly regarded by an employer, which makes staff valuable to a firm, almost irreplaceable.

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Technology will continue to develop, and as this does firms will naturally provide training and share plans with workers. If you are not sure about new changes, address your concerns with your employer as they will be more than willing to help you.

New jobs created
Despite the talk of how jobs in finance are being replaced by technology, we are ignoring the possibility of our jobs changing to interpret the new data it produces. Although technology is helping replace process driven tasks, jobs will become available to monitor and review this technology for manipulation, fraud or even cyber-attacks.

Technology is continuing to enhance our everyday tasks and is usually a tool to speed up processes. With this in mind, integrating technology into your job can be a benefit to you.

April Warrier is co-chair of CASSL, the Chartered Accountant Students' Society of London.

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