CHAPTER 12I’m a Robot, and I’m Here to Help

“Press 1 for new orders. Press 2 for billing. Press 5 for frustration.”

You may be annoyed by the automated voice response system when calling an 800 number, maybe even yelling at your phone (and the robotic voice coming through the line). You may not enjoy speaking to a human in a call center who’s clearly reading from a script designed for the most common issue.


Those who can afford it often demand and expect more personalized attention, often called high touch. These high‐net‐worth clients are promised a seasoned professional, not a robotic voice, on the other end of the phone.

But couldn’t a private banker or wealth advisor be a friendly, solicitous robot, like in Star Wars? R2D2 makes us laugh, flattering, scolding, and teasing the humans who built him. This robot does a magnificent job of performing tasks either too complex and/or time consuming for humans. R2D2 was a marvel we grew fond of and relied on in a very real and affectionate way. So, too, a robo‐advisor ...

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