Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Singularity is Creeping Down Wall Street

The singularity is near.

That's the thought I have at least when I read articles like this from the Wall Street Journal. Key quotes and context below the fold...
"One upstart in the [Artificial Intelligence] race on Wall Street is Rebellion Research, a tiny New York hedge fund with about $7 million in capital that has been using a machine-learning program it developed to invest in stocks. Run by a small team of twentysomething math and computer whizzes, Rebellion has a solid track record, topping the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index by an average of 10% a year, after fees, since its 2007 launch through June, according to people familiar with the fund. Like many hedge funds, its goal is to beat the broader market year after year."
The whole article is worth a read.  Rebellion looks like an impressive program.  It focuses on mid and long term trading, and have consistently beaten the market averages since the company's launch.

My favorite quote:
"The firm's current portfolio is largely defensive. One of its biggest positions is in gold stocks, according to people familiar with the fund.
"The defensive move at first worried Mr. Fleiss, who had grown bullish. But it has proven a smart move so far. 'I've learned not to question the AI,' he said. "
Twenty years ago we were playing Number Muncher on green screen macintosh computers with no internet.  Today, we have artificial intelligence beating chess masters, beating the stock market, picking College Football championship players, and conducting missile strikes in the Middle East.  I'm not sure what AI will look like in another twenty years, although I suspect that I won't be questioning its judgment.

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