Robots Head to Wall Street

Source: NYTimes, Feb 2016

Within a decade, he said, between a third and a half of the current employees in finance will lose their jobs to Kensho and other automation software. It began with the lower-paid clerks, many of whom became unnecessary when stock tickers and trading tickets went electronic. It has moved on to research and analysis, as software like Kensho has become capable of parsing enormous data sets far more quickly and reliably than humans ever could.

The next ‘‘tranche,’’ as Nadler puts it, will come from the employees who deal with clients: Soon, sophisticated interfaces will mean that clients no longer feel they need or even want to work through a human being.

If jobs can be displaced at Goldman, they can probably be displaced even more quickly at other, less sophisticated companies, within the financial industry as well as without.

Antony Jenkins, who was dismissed a few months earlier as chief executive of Barclays, the giant British bank, gave a speech in which he said a coming series of ‘‘Uber moments’’ would hit the financial industry.

‘‘I predict that the number of branches and people employed in the financial-services sector may decline by as much as 50 percent,’’ Jenkins told the audience. ‘‘Even in a less-harsh scenario, I expect a decline of at least 20 percent.’’

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