Financial advisors need to embrace the use of artificial intelligence to enhance their practices, rather than fearing they will be replaced by it, according to Jack Brod, chair of the CFP Board of Directors.

Some studies have predicted AI and big data will have a negative impact on the financial services industry, with robo-advisors and other technology replacing human advisors. However, Brod said during an interview with Financial Advisor magazine that advisors need to be open-minded to the potential uses of AI in their practices.

“The introduction of AI in all industries, including financial services, is not something that is happening overnight,” said Brod, who has a background in technology as it relates to financial planning. “It is evolutionary and is happening by degrees. Advisors will have time to understand and adapt to the new ways. At the same time, advisors need to understand how the new technology is being developed and what is behind it in order to use it effectively.”

AI programs are being developed that can take much of the manual labor out of financial planning, freeing the advisor to concentrate on the human relationships with clients. The CFP Board has a digital advice working group that meets regularly to help advisors with technological changes that affect the financial industry.

Some advisors may be wary of the changes that AI will bring to financial advice because any change can be seen as threatening to their livelihood. However, it is not something to fear, Brod said. Instead, technology can add to an advisor’s practice.

“Technology is naturally changing the way advisors provide services to their clients,” he said. “This frees the advisor to be front and center with the client and to proactively communicate with the client.”