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Who Do You Trust? The Expert, The Computer Or Yourself?

Since we are hurtling rapidly towards a future where we will have the choices above, who will you pick?

Imagine a time in a not too distant future. Let’s say that you have built up a sizeable nest egg of investments in several different areas – well balanced and making money. You have personally managed it into this state. However, you are tired of the work involved and would like your broker to take it off your plate. Your broker responds with a new service. Two new services:

  • Arnold – The Robo-Investor – a brand-new quantum computer-based, a highly sophisticated artificially intelligent investing bot that uses big data and predictive analytics to analyze many thousands more data points than any human possibly can. It is plugged into all financial data, news feeds, supply chains, etc. It works by capturing as much data as it possibly can and then create many parallel simulated worlds, where it runs simulations of various investment strategies in a fraction of a second, then both recommends and trades on your behalf to make your portfolio grow even faster.


  • Bert – The Experienced Investor – Bert is a very experienced and successful human investor who has made many billions of dollars for his customers. He is a nice guy, never rips anyone off, and seems to have this uncanny knack for being able to figure out where to invest to capture the value and expand his client’s portfolios. He is highly recommended by your investment firm, comes with impeccable references. Bert used to be expensive, but in a bid to let more folks partake of his vast expertise, he has decided to lower his fees to be in line with the fees from Arnold.

They both cost the same. They both have shown to be successful. Which one would you choose? Or do you decide to continue managing your portfolio?

I know which I would pick. You would probably do the same. You would go with Arnold, or continue to do it yourself. Bert is a distant third choice.

Why do you wonder?

Aside from the fact that Arnold has access to much, much more information than either you or Bert and can make recommendations with more data and possibly more accurately as it has run many simulations of the real world, who would you trust with your portfolio?

It turns out – we are both right – people are much more likely to go with the bot than humans.

Why is that?

It’s the same reason why we prefer chatbots over talking to a person. Its an issue of TRUST.

Trust used to be gained by interactions over time. The more interactions over time that you had with a person who you deemed trustworthy, and the more times that they upheld your trust, the more you trusted them. But in this world, what is trust? In this world, trust is assumed, or not expected, based on other factors. Do you buy that item on eBay from someone you’ve never met, or will that person be ripping you off?

So we pick the bot over the human. Even though a human programmed that bot, we like the bot better because they aren’t a human, and we expect them to be colder and accurately make decisions that will grow our portfolio. The choice would be different if it were for someone to take care of an aging parent (or would it).

We are rapidly moving to a world where bots will work in concert with humans to improve our lives. Will we allow them?

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