With technology stalwarts from Elon Musk to Bill Gates warning of the potential threat presented by artificial intelligence, one would be forgiven for taking a dim view of what A.I. offers humanity in the long run.
Yet for those worried about losing their jobs (or worse), the emergence of a more collaborative approach to A.I. should offer some comfort.
The rise of so-called 'cobots', which emphasize human-robot interaction in solving tasks, have not only proven more accommodating of their flesh-and-blood counterparts, they have also proven to be a better solution. For example, a study involving BMW found that using robot-human teams in manufacturing was 85% more productive than using either on a standalone basis.
Will wealth management start to see the emergence of 'coboadvisors' in the near future? Or do current platforms, which rely on a hybrid, human/robo model, already qualify for the term?
Most companies have struggled to automate given the high cost associated with traditional robotics. Yet with the average factory worker earning $11.80 per hour in the US and £7.40 in the UK, according to salary comparison website PayScale, a payback at these lower price levels can be a matter of months. James Stettler, an analyst at Barclays Capital, estimates the cobot market could grow from just over $100m last year to $3bn by 2020.