The robots are coming! Should we run away? Nope, not me, I think I’m going to stay and play.

I recently returned from Sage Summit in Atlanta and the theme was on bots and artificial intelligence. It was amazing to think about where technology is headed.

Do you have an Alexa in your kitchen? Do you taunt her like my family does? Or do you ask her the weather and what’s on your calendar like my husband does? What if you could tell her to tell Pegg the Sage bot to record an expense or look up a balance using only your voice?

Crazy, right? It’s not that far off.

At Summit, they had two keynote speakers - one was Josh Browder, the founder of DoNotPay, a 20-something who invented a bot to fight parking tickets - and the other was Hassan Sawaf, the director of artificial intelligence at Amazon Web Services, as well as, one of the inventers of Alexa. Both were being interviewed by Kriti Sharma, the vice president of bots and AI, at Sage.

The key takeaway for me was the “lack of user interface” meaning you just talk and it knows what to do. The bots really are smart. Voice will be the new normal. My kids talk to my TV. Gone are the days when you used to touch a TV or even a remote to make it work. Soon those smart technologies will be in our office and helping us to do work. Will our computers even have keyboards? Or will we fight the voice automation, just like the DOS holdouts who didn’t want to move to a mouse?

Lots of folks are saying our jobs will be obsolete. I don’t agree with that.

But I do know more and more of the work we do will be replaced with automation and bots. Bank feeds were only the starting point. Have you started to learn about the new technologies that will soon be invading our firms?
If not, why not?

Jody at Sage Summit earlier this month.
Jody at Sage Summit earlier this month. Jody Padar

The pace of change is only going to get faster. The first place to start is get an Alexa and see what she can do for you, so when the bots are ready for prime time in our firms, you will have some experience. And if you already are bot savvy, go to Facebook Messenger and type, “Hello Pegg.” She’ll tell you what to do from there. Start chatting with her and see how she can help you organize your P&L. You might learn something!

Jody Padar

Jody Padar

Jody Padar, CPA, MST, is the chief executive officer and principal at New Vision CPA Group and the author of The Radical CPA.