Effects of AI in the Workplace and ETFs to Play

Artificial intelligence is one of the various forms of disruptive technology, but does that mean disruptive in a sense that it will replace humans in the workforce? That seems to be one of the arguments against the spread of AI despite its better intentions, but those who argue for it paint a different picture.

Rather than looking at AI as a means of replacement, it should be viewed as a form of enhancement. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum noted that 133 million new jobs will be created in place of 75 million that will be displaced from now until the year 2022.

“We look at these technologies as being enhancements, not per se, replacements,” aid Renzo Taal, head of Asia and senior vice president for Asia Pacific at Salesforce.

In a study conducted by Salesforce, 73% of hiring managers said creative thinking skills will be vital as AI becomes more prevalent in the workplace. To quell any fears of being replaced by AI, the majority of hiring managers say that employees will need to understand how their roles interplay with AI.

In the investment space, AI is increasingly gaining widespread attention for its ability to be a disruptive technology that spans across a variety of sectors, which makes it a viable alternative for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) opportunities. For one ETF, the AI-Powered International Equity ETF (NYSEArca: AIIQ), it’s been a year since inception and is up 20.66 percent year-to-date.

Under the hood, the fund runs on the EquBot Model: a proprietary algorithm with the use of IBM’s Watson. The model analyzes and compares a multitude of data points and international companies on a daily basis to find and optimize portfolio exposures.

AI continues to disrupt the investment management space, prompting many asset managers and investors to rethink the way they invest, research and develop portfolio construction methodologies. EquBot recognized this need for advancement and broke the mold by pioneering a new method combining AI with ETFs.

Whether society is ready for it or not, robotics, AI, machine learning, or any other type of disruptive technology will be the next wave of innovation. For investors who missed out on the bull market run of FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) stocks, they can look to capitalize on disruptive tech options in 2019 and beyond that.

Disruptive technology is not relegated to certain sectors as it will permeate into all industries in some form or fashion. For example, augmented reality is technology comprised of digital images superimposed over the real world, and its use is primed to drive industry growth–industries like real estate and manufacturing are already putting the technology to use in a variety of ways.

According to the Harvard Business Review, global firm Deloitte identified seven disruptive forces that leaders should understand and incorporate into their strategy for future growth:

  1. Internet of things (IoT):  disrupting the labor market and forcing employees to be “tech fluent.”
  2. Continued growth of big data via analytics in organizations
  3. “Cyber-physical world” that focuses on efficiency and the automation of manual tasks
  4. Automation and higher-level value creation
  5. The concept of “career” is changing via technology, resulting in a 60-70-year work life with continuous learning and career shifts.
  6. An explosion in contingent work with a distributed talent pool that improves productivity and speed
  7. Diversity and generational change for the workforce

Another ETF to consider is the ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEArca: ARKK). ARKK is an actively-managed fund that invests in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies that are relevant to the fund’s investment theme of disruptive innovation.

For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.