Personal Finance Society (PFS) chief executive Keith Richards has said he believes artificial intelligence (AI) is not a threat to financial advice but will instead complement it.
Speaking to Professional Adviser's reporter Sophie King at the PFS Future Proof conference in Birmingham on Thursday (28 November), Richards (pictured) said the need and demand for advice is only going to increase. Therefore, advisers and the wider financial services sector may need help involving AI not only for themselves but for the rest of their firm.
In his opinion, the chief executive said AI can be a "great enabler" and help to improve some of the gaps in the financial services sector. "Human beings will never be replaced by machines, but processes and systems can be," he said. "It will free us to go into other directions and to add value in other ways."
He said that often, the more important the decision that has to be made, the less the client wants to do that on their own. As a result, he continued, while AI has an important role to play it will never replace the breadth and experience that financial advice has.
The chief executive also said it is easy to focus on how AI might impact the sector, but it is harder to focus on what it might create for it. "We are going to have regulators that look at things like AI and technology as an important bridge to engage more consumers," he said.
"I think the future is bright. It [AI] can focus around replacing people's roles, but there is no question in my mind that AI will ever replace the role of a professional adviser."