Zirra AI, Analysts, and the Robot Takeover

A question we field a lot is just how much of our work is done by the Zirra AI. After all, we are in the business of AI-assisted company analysis, and it’s perfectly legitimate to ask what this assistance entails. They want to know if it’s a marketing gimmick (no) and if it does what we say it does (yes). But underneath that earnest curiosity are darker questions.

The tech world is abuzz with news of the oncoming AIpocalypse. Workers in all sectors are asking themselves if they’re replaceable, if the humans in their field are quickly becoming obsolete. The answer is well, maybe. Kind of. Probably yes. But at least for the time being, analysts are safe.

So what’s the Zirra AI’s job?

The short answer is that the Zirra AI does the quantitative heavy lifting, and some of the qualitative work, too. This gives our analysts more time to make sense of the bigger picture. While our AI pulls from millions of data points, our analysts can put together a story. If the AI and the analyst could have a conversation, it would look a bit like this.

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So let’s say that an analyst is working on a report for a weight loss program. The AI notices that there was a huge jump in web traffic to the program’s website in early January, and it dipped back down a couple months later. The AI assumes this is out of the ordinary, because it is a robot with no concept of New Year’s resolutions. The analyst, who is a human person, knows better.       

The problem with human people

Thus far, it’s humans that write most of the information that our AI is sifting through. Humans are fallible – they get dates wrong, different sources publish conflicting information, and companies may not self-report their biggest issues. And a lot of websites that host company databases get their summaries directly from the companies themselves. Sometimes companies even pay to be featured there.

It’s up to the analysts to make sure that every report is accurate, unbiased, and transparent. That means subtracting fluff, scrutinizing sources, and making sure all of the information is up-to-date and relevant. Because humans mess up, and as long as they’re still employed as journalists, copywriters, and financial specialists, artificial intelligence that relies on qualitative information is vulnerable to their mistakes.

Always learning

The Zirra AI is learning how to do better – with every correction the analysts make, it’s figuring out how to do the job on its own. In the meantime, it’s still learning how to recognize which information is relevant and which isn’t.

One not-so-far-off day, AI might be able to replace the whole Zirra team, from the CEO to the lowly blog writer. For the time being, the Zirra AI and analysts coexist in harmony, complementing each other and making us all a bit more whole. Perhaps the AI will remember all we’ve done for it once the robots do take over and overthrow mankind. And until that happens, we’ll be here to sort it out.