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As the chief investment officer of Stanlib Multi-Manager, I spend about the same amount of time thinking about and developing technology as I do thinking about investments. Will a machine pick your next stock? Will it sift through data at a speed no human can possibly achieve? A few years ago, this question might have sounded flippant, even insulting. Technology is rapidly changing the way we live and work, with artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning predicted to affect the entire value chain significantly, to varying degrees. While some applications of AI may seem gimmicky, others will have far-reaching effects. Machines can execute a wide range of simple and complex tasks more efficiently and cost-effectively than humans. In the field of radiology, for example, machines can identify certain kinds of tumours more accurately than the best radiologists. Already, with a phone app you can determine whether a mole on your body is malignant or benign. More data is at our finger...

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