🤖 The AIssue

Sign up for the weekly edition of The Currency newsletter delivered to your inbox. 📧



It simplifies complex tasks. It writes nursery rhymes. It can help you lean out of unwanted plans (no, really, check out The Decliner*).

AI has captured our imagination for decades. It’s been around since the 1950s with the onset of computing, but its applications are accelerating at a groundbreaking pace.

What do Americans say when it comes to their wallets? The majority (65%) would trust AI with simple financial tasks like providing account balance updates, suggestions to grow savings (60%) and budget management (58%) – but that’s where many draw the line. Some 67% want a human touch, preferring an advisor coupled with digital tools when it comes to financial and investing advice.

The generative-AI market size was valued at $40 billion in 2022* and is expected to grow to $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. It’s a big deal – welcome to this week’s AIssue, written by your real-live friends in finance. 

– The Editors


AI revolution: McKinsey predicts that somewhere between 2030 and 2060, half of today's work tasks will be automated.* The consulting firm heralds AI-assistance as “the next wave of productivity.” Employees are ready to be ready; more than 85% of workers believe they will need training to address AI-driven changes* to their jobs but, so far, less than 15% have received any, according to a survey of 13,000 laborers. Future of cybersecurity: As companies tackle AI in different ways, Cisco is buying cybersecurity firm Splunk* in a $28 billion deal centering on predictive AI that’s simpler for organizations to use. The allure of AI adds up to big bucks: Splunk’s estimated $4 billion in recurring revenue* from products and service subscriptions gives Cisco a boost in a market currently undergoing cyber consolidation – fewer choices, but more integrated products and services. Google heavily invested last year via the purchase of Mandiant for $5.4 billion.

Help wanted: LinkedIn may be developing an AI-powered career coach to help job seekers* research different companies, apply to relevant positions and learn new skills. Perhaps it should also involve a financial component; according to our Money Talks research, more than a third (34%) of Americans say they would share their salary information on LinkedIn to help find career opportunities.


How do you AI?

I’ve used artificial intelligence for: 

  • Writing assistance
  • Generating or reviewing code
  • Brainstorming and inspiration
  • Generating doctored-up selfies
  • Budgeting tips


We’ll report back next week.



AI-space race  

OpenAI is seeking a valuation of upwards of $90 billion* – about triple its level earlier this year. In pursuit of a share sale, the Microsoft-backed startup told investors that it anticipates hitting $1 billion in revenue* this year.

A valuation of $80 billion or more would place OpenAI in the same camp as the most highly valued startups, such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX. It’s been a quick shot to the top: Open AI released ChatGPT last November; since then, big tech companies have followed its lead in response to investor and consumer enthusiasm.

😵‍💫 With sky-high valuations, investing can take a heady spin. Remember, portfolio diversification can help you manage risk and ride out market fluctuations.


Sunnies get an AI makeover

Meta, which has been investing in virtual reality gear, donned its AI software* in the form of new Ray-Ban smart glasses that enable people to identify places and objects in real-time.

The glasses sell for $299 when available later this month, and feature two high-tech cameras for wearers to record videos up to a minute in length as well as livestream footage to social networks.  

It's part of a larger AI push as the company rolls out the red carpet for a cast of celebrity-endorsed chatbot personas on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger: Tom Brady, Kendall Jenner, Snoop Dogg and more will be available to talk to users about travel, fitness and even side-quests to spark engagement on the 'verse.

Some analysts predict that the wearable tech market is projected to grow from nearly $27 billion in 2019 to $64 billion by 2024.*

📝 As more interactions are augmented with AI, one Empower advisor explores how AI in financial planning has entered the chat.


The sound of music   Spotify is having us hear voices with a new AI-powered translation feature* that turns English-language podcasts to Spanish, and soon French and German, in a synthesized version of the podcaster’s voice.  

While its core business is music streaming, Spotify has invested over $1 billion* in a play to dominate the podcasting industry. It’s part of a bet many companies are making that the U.S. market for podcast advertising – currently $2.3 billion – will end up being a bigger portion of the overall $200 billion digital-ad market, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Competition to break through the noise is fierce – and Americans are tuning in; the company said it has 100 million podcast listeners on its platform as of June.

💻 October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. When you pay, play and track your money online, be vigilant about your digital hygiene with these suggestions.


As of October 5, 2023, EAG holds shares of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL), Microsoft Corp (MSFT), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) and Meta Platforms Inc (META) in advisory client accounts and does not hold La-Z-Boy (LZB), Cisco (CSCO), Splunk Inc (SPLK), Mandiant Inc (MNDT), EssilorLuxottica Unsponsored ADR (ESLOY) or Spotify Technology (SPOT).

RO3147217-1023 WF-2893608-1023

The Currency editors

Staff contributors

The CurrencyTM, a publication from Empower, covers the latest financial news and views shaping how we live, work, and play. We keep you current on ways to plan, save, and invest for life.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. No part of this blog, nor the links contained therein is a solicitation or offer to sell securities. Compensation for freelance contributions not to exceed $1,250. Third-party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Empower cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third-party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites.

Certain sections of this blog may contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Past performance is not a guarantee of future return, nor is it indicative of future performance. Investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate and you may lose money.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design), and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.