In 2013, Oxford University published research that said accountants and auditors have a 94 per cent chance of being replaced by robots. It is no surprise that areas of the finance function are at risk of automation. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are powerful, and are improving quickly and constantly. Evidence from areas like medical diagnostics show that algorithms can make vital decisions – and perhaps better ones than people. Attempts to ignore the fact that machine learning is superseding human capabilities are fated to end in failure.