I stumbled upon the pages about generative design at Autodesk, https://www.autodesk.com/solutions/generative-design. The details are far more complex than this forthcoming explanation, but essentially you direct the system to design a product with certain parameters; such as “as light as possible”, “strongest as possible”, “minimize surface area”, etc. The system then iterates on every possible permutation until it derives the answer which most accurately reflects the goal.
I’ve been thinking about this in relation to finances. The fintech (that’s finance and technology) world seems to have an inordinate fondness for bots (paraphrasing JS Haldane here) when it comes to personal finance solutions. This Google query highlights the results, https://www.google.com/search?q=personal+finance+ai I see seven “finance bots” listed in the first page of results. The basic idea is that the bots watch your spending and suggest various optimizations to save you money, etc. There is much research behind all of the models on which the bots are built. Helping you save money, live within your means/budget, etc are all worthy causes. I keep thinking about the prior step to having the budget/savings plan in place.
Could one list a personal financial statement which details the monthly income and expenses to pay and let the generative design go into effect to derive the optimal financial plan for you? The most profitable plan on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis? Companies do this all the time to maximize their profits. The complexity involves looking at your bills, taxes, etc and figuring out the optimal way to meet the contractual obligations of each. Some optimization points which come to mind are “paying taxes monthly, quarterly, or annually?” The phone bill, they won’t cut you off for 90 days, so should you pay it monthly or wait until the disconnect notice and then pay it? Should you find a pre-paid plan which allows you to pay up front for 3, 6,12 months at a time? Is it optimal to invest the money not spent on bills in a quarter in the stock market? REITs? Money Market funds? Certs of Deposits?
etc? How do I pay for the costs of the generative design system optimally?
A generative design financial system would work through all the scenarios to derive the most profit for you on an annual basis. For prioritization, maximizing profits is first, minimizing the damage to your FICO score and/or legal consequences could be second, and so on. This sort of generative design works for companies because the sheer quantity of money involved.
Maybe I’m missing something, and likely I am, this could work for tens of millions of people to develop the financial plan which then feeds into the bots to keep you on track. The better option is the plan would be executed automatically. You would receive your monthly stipend for spending however you want, and the rest is automated. The finance bots could then watch your spending and provide hints on how to more optimally spend your free cash. Ultimately, you’re in control of the plan and can adhere to it or not.
Originally written on my Google+ page.