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Point72's Granade: No need to fear the robots taking over hedge funds

Julia La Roche

Hedge fund portfolio managers and analysts, there’s no need to worry — robots aren't taking your jobs anytime soon, according to one finance industry veteran.

Despite widespread fears about artificial intelligence (AI) encroaching on jobs everywhere, humans still play “a really important role in idea generation, and creativity, and seeing things other things that others don't see," said Matthew Granade, the chief market intelligence officer for Point72 Asset Management, the hedge fund led by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

Yahoo Finance spoke to Granade on the sidelines of the Fortune Brainstorm Finance event on Montauk, New York on Thursday.

According to Granade, artificial intelligence and other technology tools will help make folks on the buy side more productive and creating data sets.

He stressed that “core idea generation is going to be done by humans, or humans are going to have a very important role to play in that for many many years to come."

At Point72, the firm uses machine learning to process credit card data.

Natural language processing is superior at sifting through that information as it relates to various tickers, while it would be virtually impossible for a human to go through billions of credit card transactions. That data helps inform decisions about various tickers.

All said, changes and new technology tend to make people nervous, and hedge funds are no different.

"[I] think when you start really thinking about what the technology is going to do and what it's capable of, you see certain human skills are going to be extremely valuable and then certain things aren't,” Granade said.

“The advice I always give everybody is you have to think about in this world, 'What's your competitive advantage versus machines?'" he asked.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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