I know some investors who I’m pretty sure have “artificial intelligence.” You know who they are: people who think they are way smarter than everyone else and never admit to making a mistake. They will instead shift the blame to save face.

However, the kind of artificial intelligence I’m thinking about is computer-driven and might just change the world as we know it now.

Alan Turing, a British scientist, asked way back in 1950, “Can machines think?” He is regarded by many as the father of computer science and a pioneer in AI. Today we are much closer to answering that question affirmatively.

AI has the potential to change the way our world works while bringing about huge changes in productivity. Machines are using reason and logic. They learn from their own experience while accessing tons of data (big data) in ways even today we cannot foresee.

It has been true in history that modern civilization or economic wellbeing has been propelled by innovation.

Could AI be the seventh wave to lift human wellbeing?

1. Industrial Revolution, late 1700s.

2. Age of steam and railroads, mid-1800s.

3. Steel production and electrification, late 1800s.

4. Oil production, mass production of autos, early 1900s.

5. Age of aviation, 1940s.

6. Information Age, 1970s.

7. Age of Artificial Intelligence, 2020+.

Is it now? Alan Turing said, “A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.”

An experience the other day that got me thinking about AI was how those #$*# robo calls work. It used to be you could tell right away, but recently they actually answer questions and respond so it’s really hard to tell. A frustrated friend shared his solution when he spotted this kind of call.

He said, “I wish you were dead.”

The reply was that he would be immediately taken off this list and receive no further calls. Hey, whatever works!

AI is here if you think about it. How about the nice lady in the phone named Siri?

I remember the occasion when in frustration I said a few bad words to Siri. Her reply was, “I’ll bet you don’t talk to your mother like that!” She was right! Don’t forget Amazon’s Alexa, the personal assistant, and an integral part of the coming electronic home.

For business, it is what is known as “big data” and the related analysis and processing. Among the many uses in business for AI are functions such as marketing, customer relations, human resources and in investments.

Some portfolios are managed solely based on big data processing and computer algorithms. As AI proliferates in these areas it means far greater efficiency and productivity. It also means that people currently employed in these areas will need to be retrained to do something else. Which is the most secure job: truck driver or tech support? Don’t bet on either!

Robotics has been around a long time but soon with AI, they will do much more than repetitive motions. Advances in sensors, hydraulics and machine learning will open up a host of new applications. Think self-driving cars, etc.

The Internet of Things is going to be pervasive due to use of big data, AI and sensor advancement. The uses will include the electric grid, metering of gas, electricity and water, all done remotely. Then there is traffic control, traffic lights, streetlights and mass transit.

Let’s not forget the drones for Amazon delivery, for photography, mapping, zapping the enemy and who knows what else? Agriculture uses drones and robotics, GPS and AI to figure out when to plant, how to plow, fertilize, harvest, control pests, feed animals and much more. The results are cheaper, better food and some offset to chronic labor shortage.

Health care is being transformed as well. We have had robotic surgery for a while, but get ready for the surgeon to be hands off. Everything from diagnosis to drug administration will be done as some function of AI.

I am not able, due to government regulations, to make any recommendation in print, however I think there are a couple of takeaways in this. First, search for companies that are leaders in these uses of AI. Ask an adviser for ideas or do uour own homework. Most important is that AI is likely in my opinion, to be the seventh major transformational economic wave perhaps for the next few decades. This means better productivity and a better and richer life for Americans and most of the world in the future.

P.S. The stock market outlook is essentially the same as last month. No major bear market signs now. Corrections are normal, the uptrend continues until it doesn’t.

Questions may be answered by contacting Don Hutchinson at 203-301-0133, in Milford. Safe Harbor Financial Management Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial adviser before investing. Investing involves risks including the loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.