Wells Fargo research analysts invent their own AI replacement

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(Bloomberg) -- Talk about courting disaster.

At a time when nearly everyone’s considered whether their job is susceptible to automation, Wells Fargo research analysts have gone and developed a bot -- to do research and analysis.

A group led by Ken Sena introduced AIERA, short for artificially intelligent equity research analyst, in a note to clients Wednesday. “Her” job, quite simply, is to help the team do theirs.

“AIERA’s primary purpose is to track stocks and formulate a daily, weekly and overall view on whether the stocks tracked will go up or down,” Sena, head of internet equity research, said.

Not to worry, Sena and team say, they aren’t going anywhere.

“View AIERA as enhancing vs. replacing,” they wrote. “While AIERA does exceed
us in capturing and analyzing publicly available data, we like to think we still have an ability to engage in frameworks/themes.”

In fact, the human analysts say, the months spent developing the bot, which involved working with Bryan Healey, one of the data scientists involved in Amazon.com’s Alexa, helped them deepen their understanding of the “artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities” used at many of the internet companies they analyze.

For now, AIERA’s not picking stocks in the traditional sense, though the researchers note that she’s only six months old. Already, though, her “validity tests continue to indicate above average.”


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