On the employment front, worries over the battle of man versus machine spans from Elizabethan England to the current “jobless” recovery since the financial crisis. To gauge the future impact of computers on employment, two professors from Oxford University in England looked at 702 occupations to see which ones are most vulnerable to technology’s relentless march.

Their report, The Future Of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerisation? was published last year and is aimed at the U.S. labor market. Among the report’s conclusions is that roughly 47% of total U.S. employment is at risk, including the financial advisory profession.

The report focused on recent advances in the fields of machine learning and mobile robotics and their impact on various occupations. The authors, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, assert that creative destruction caused by technology has been around for centuries, and so has concern about its impact. They point to William Lee, who invented a stocking frame knitting machine in 1589 aimed at relieving workers of the chore of hand-knitting. When he went to London to show Queen Elizabeth I his device and to get patent protection for it, the Virgin Queen shot down his idea.

“Thou aimest high, Master Lee,” the report cites the queen as saying. “Consider thou what the invention could do to my poor subjects. It would assuredly bring to them ruin by depriving them of employment, thus making them beggars.”

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and the queen’s concerns remain relevant to scores of occupations either already rendered replaceable––such as cashiers and telephone operators––or in danger of becoming so.

The good news: Occupations involving complex perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks and social intelligence tasks “are unlikely to be substituted by computer capital over the next decade or two,” the report says. That should bode well for such occupations as choreographers, emergency management directors and surgeons. On the other hand, telemarketers, tax preparers and photographic process workers should start looking for new careers.

Where do financial advisors fit into the picture? Apparently, their livelihood is under threat from algorithms. “Occupations that require subtle judgment are also increasingly susceptible to computerisation,” the report says. “To many such tasks, the unbiased decision-making of an algorithm represents a comparative advantage over human operators.”

That’s already happening in the financial sector. Regarding financial advisors, the report specifically mentions the online site FutureAdvisor as an example of a company using algorithms and artificial intelligence to offer personalized financial advice at larger scale and lower cost.

As described on San Francisco-based FutureAdvisor’s Web site, the company is an investment advisor “that takes academically researched portfolio management principles and applies them to your situation. Our recommendation algorithms are based on these principles and academic works.” The company is just one of a small but growing number of online advisor and/or investment management outfits offering alternatives to the traditional advisor model.

It’s unlikely technology will make that traditional model obsolete, but even within that model it allows advisors––particularly Gen Y advisors who tend to be more tech-enabled––to run their practices in unconventional ways.

On the scale of 0 (least-computerizable) to 1 (most-computerizable, or vulnerable) among the 702 occupations examined in the Oxford report, personal financial advisors had a rating of 0.58. That put the profession roughly in the middle of the pack at number 324, where it’s sandwiched between millwrights and first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers.