Ex-Goldman tech chief sees finance's AI ascendance in 5 years

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(Bloomberg) -- Traditional Wall Street jobs are already being disrupted by technology, and the emergence of artificial intelligence will drastically reorder the role of most humans in finance, according to former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Technology Officer Michael Dubno.

“We’re actually seeing the disintermediation of certain roles that were historic on Wall Street such as the salesperson,” Dubno said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “You still need someone to start a relationship, but that relationship is not done by ‘Hey, let’s go to dinner. Hey, I have a great piece of research for you.’ It’s really ‘I have a great piece of data for you’.”

Dubno, a former video game developer who started out helping automate Goldman Sachs’ equities desk in the 1980s, was at the fore of a movement to use data that is reverberating today as firms employ machine-learning algorithms across operations. He helped develop the firm’s risk management system, SecDB, that is sometimes referred to as the bank’s “special sauce.” SecDB eventually spread throughout the bank and was then mimicked by rivals, including Bank of America Corp., where Dubno also worked.

“The end-state of finance is similar to the end-state of almost every business: Almost every business is going to be automated to the point where very few people are involved in the running of it,” Dubno said. “All firms have between 5 and 20 years in terms of what happens, but I think they’ll feel the effects of that way sooner.”

Bloomberg News