Further artificial intelligence (AI) development will not come without risks. There is much concern that advances in AI could contribute to catastrophic increases in the UK’s unemployment figures. Telecoms giant BT accompanied publication of their FY23 annual report with the announcement that they anticipate replacing up to 55,000 jobs with AI by 2030. Many fear this is just the beginning of a redundancy wave that could spread across the entire economy.

Others, however, feel that improved AI could create a new era of fulfilling careers and widespread prosperity throughout the UK.

Lamwyk spoke exclusively to Lisa Beale, director of Vetted Adviser (VA) – which is set to become the go-to digital portal for the UK’s most trusted advisers – about how she expects AI’s advances to impact the professional services sector.

(Tom O’Brien) Thanks so much for speaking to us, Lisa. Do you share concerns that AI-powered machines might eventually replicate the empathy at the heart of adviser-client relationships?

(Lisa Beale) Thanks Tom – no, in short. People will always buy from people. Would you really want to leave writing your Will, buying or selling your home, or taking painful but necessary legal action to a robot? Phenomenal trust sits at the heart of all great client-adviser relationships. Most advisers thrive on looking after generations of the same family from cradle to grave. A machine, however intelligent, simply can’t replicate that kind of relationship. AI can certainly greatly help advisers to complete their work more efficiently. It can’t replace them though.

(TOB) What do you think that help might look like?

(LB) By offering clients unprecedented convenience, AI already gives advisers a crucial competitive edge. What does the future look like? Drawing an end to physical document checking will make onboarding smoother than ever before. Clients and advisers will save so much time. Meanwhile, the proliferation of virtual meetings which we have seen since the pandemic will only continue. These meetings facilitate meaningful interactions at the client’s convenience and at short notice. They also remove time lost travelling to and from in-person meetings.

(TOB) Are you worried that AI-driven deep fakes and scams could damage advisers’ reputations?

(LB) Absolutely – False accusations, fake news and malicious fake reviews can cause untold damage to businesses. Proper vetting of business information published online forms a vital part of countering these reputational threats to advisers.

(TOB) How can VA protect advisers from these threats?

(LB) Our hard-working humans go through every single piece of information that advisers submit for uploading onto the portal. Individuals and businesses trust us to provide completely accurate and impartial information about all advisers listed on VA. We feel it would be irresponsible to leave that process to a machine. Algorithms can miss things. A dedicated team of staff don’t.

It’s a great relief to know that Lisa and her team at VA are helping advisers to navigate AI’s risks and use its innovations to grow their businesses. VA’s unique feedback vetting and storage capabilities are key to this growth. They provide one portal for professionals to grow both their reputations and business networks as the world enters an increasingly complex technological era.

Could AI replace Professional Advisers?
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