Man vs. Machine: Stock Analysis

Nowadays, we see an increasing number of machine learning based strategies and other related financial analyses. But can the machines replace us? Undoubtedly, AI algorithms have greater capacities to “digest” big data, but as always in the markets, everything is not rational. Cao et al. (2021) dives deeper into this topic and examines the stock analysts. Target prices and earnings forecasts are crucial parts of the investing practice and are frequently used by traders and investors (and even ML-based strategies). The novel research examines and compares the abilities of human analysts versus the AI algorithm in forecasting the target price. As a whole, AI-based analysts, on average, outperforms human analysts, but it is not that straightforward. While AI can learn from large datasets, humans do not seem to be replaced soon. There are certain fields where human uniqueness is valuable. For example, in illiquid and smaller firms or firms with asset-light business models. Moreover, it seems that rather than competing with each other, AI and human analysts are complementary as combined knowledge and forecasts of AI and humans outperform the AI analyst in each year.

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