Mark Cuban, chairman of AXS TV and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, listens to testimony during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing Dec. 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images) Add Mark Cuban to the list of tech visionaries exhorting the need to address the advance of robotics and artificial intelligence. "Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it," Cuban posted on Twitter with a link to an essay about the rise of robots in the workplace. Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it. Employment and jobs have been a hot topic recently with President Trump's emphasis on getting U.S. corporations to focus on jobs at home and his plans of tightening of trade and immigration policies to foster job growth. Automakers including Fiat Chrysler, GM and Ford, as well as Intel and Walmart have recently announced plans that the companies say will create new jobs.
Automation in the workplace has been one of the looming existential threats to American workers for years now. And with each new study published, the fear of robots, machines, and artificial intelligence coming to take our jobs ticks higher. But a new report from McKinsey finds that the future of work and automation isn't quite the zero-sum game when it comes to jobs as some perceive. Right now, 51% of job activities could be automated with "currently demonstrated" technology, the McKinsey report says. The distinction is noteworthy: McKinsey isn't saying half of all jobs can be automated with existing technology, but rather job tasks.
The fear of robots and artificial intelligence is widespread. If it's not popular culture creating images of psychotic or scheming machines think Ultron in The Avengers or Ava in Ex Machina it's the actual news. According to a steady stream of reports, humans will lose jobs to machines on a vast scale. The latest, coming from the White House in February, said up to 80 per cent of people who are currently making 20 (U.S.) or less an hour are likely to be replaced by robots and AI over the next few decades. Those making over 40 are a little safer, but close to a third will still be made redundant.
On this last day of the quarter, the stock market is so tickled with its Q1 spoils that it's about to give a bit back. That is how it usually goes when the S&P 500 is up nicely for a three-month stretch, note Bespoke Investment Group's number crunchers. They checked out how the last trading day has gone when the S&P is up at least 5% for a quarter. That final session is typically a bust, with the index retreating 0.4% on average, according to Bespoke's look at the last eight years. But who knows exactly how the S&P will close today?
By redirecting focus, wealth managers can successfully respond to challenges brought on by digital disruption, demographic shifts, and tighter regulation. Wealth managers have seen their fair share of ups and downs in recent years, and while challenges remain, advisers can drive business and growth by paying attention to demographic segmentation, how investors are using technology, and changes in regulation. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, Simon London first speaks with PriceMetrix chief customer officer Patrick Kennedy and McKinsey partner Jill Zucker about the North American wealth-management industry; he follows that with a discussion with senior partner Joe Ngai, on the industry in China. Simon London: Welcome to the McKinsey Podcast with me, Simon London. Today, we're going to be talking about financial advice and the people who provide it: financial advisers, or as they're sometimes known, wealth managers. Wealth management is a very big business--and also a business facing a number of challenges, such as new technology, changing demographics, and tighter regulation in a lot of countries. A little later, we're going to be getting a perspective on China. But we're going to start here in North America. For the first part of the conversation, I'm joined on the line by Jill Zucker, a McKinsey partner based in New York, and Patrick Kennedy, who's based in Toronto. Pat is chief customer officer for PriceMetrix, which provides data and analytics to the wealth-management industry.