As technology advances, so does public concern.
It’s happened throughout history. People were concerned about the impacts of the printing press when it was invented in the 15th century.
These days we are worried about algorithms and AI. We’re worried they will take our jobs. We’re worried they will dictate our future.
Although we’re nowhere near that kind of future, there is some cause for concern.
AI is still in its early stages of development. Therefore it is still incredibly flawed. But some companies have over-relied on this technology.
Take the story of the man who was fired by a machine rather than his manager, for example.
Some companies have misunderstood that a machine cannot immediately replace every human or every job. Machines and technology are great at heavy lifting. So, it makes sense for machines to manufacture cars. But some jobs need a human touch.
Algorithms and AI in finance
Although there are great opportunities to use new technology to help, there have been cases of lenders over relying on these technologies and causing more harm, than good.
Sometimes data can be and will be misused, argues author and former hedge fund manager Cathy O’Neill.
Algorithms are great at taking in huge amounts of data and being consistent. But they are less reliable at being flexible, identifying biases and making decisions on a case by case basis.
It seems that some financial decision makers forget about the human element when it comes to lending. There’s more to supporting and funding SMEs than simply credit scores. It’s about making wise judgements and building relationships.
It’s a complex process which an honest, friendly and experienced professional can do, but a computer will struggle at.
Human skills will be more necessary than ever
This was reiterated in a guest post on the government’s Industrial Strategy blog by Dr Grace Lordan at the London School of Economics.
Her research has revealed that “as automation and AI changes the jobs market, ‘human skills’ are going to be more necessary than ever”.
These human skills include decision-making, data analysis, empathy; these are areas where AI simply cannot compete, Dr Lordan argues.
This means there is a hope for humans and machines to work side-by-side, rather than against each other.
Looking for funding with a human touch?
SMEs are often held back by their lack of working capital. What they need as a cash injection that balances cashflow and removes the barrier to taking on new contracts or investing in new equipment.
Backed by and sharing the ethos of Skipton Building Society, Skipton Business Finance (SBF) provides accessible forms of working capital that are perfect for SMEs.
Our friendly teams across the UK support your business with finance facilities from as little as £25,000 to as large as £5m.
You will be assigned a dedicated relationship manager who sticks by you and understands your business. We look at the individual merits of a business as part of our underwriting criteria, taking potential sales figures and the whole context into consideration and not only credit scores.
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At Skipton Business Finance, we offer the following types of Invoice Finance