Beneath the Sizzle of Artificial Intelligence

Over the past two years, we have seen many mentions in the press and at conferences about the financial applications of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and big data. Is this the next frontier, or is it just snake oil? To adapt a famous advertising phrase, “We’ve seen the sizzle; now where is the steak?” Artificial intelligence research has a long history, but most of the investment community’s views of AI are shaped by the media. The robot in Lost in Space, HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Skynet in The Terminator — these media tropes subconsciously shape our perceptions of what AI is and what it could be capable of. We dream of (or maybe dread) a HAL 9000 computer sitting next to us as we trade.…


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