If Data-Hungry Robots Don’t Kill You, Their Masters Will

Hire an MIT grad ASAP, or die.
By D J Shin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

By D J Shin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Hello, investing humans. Perhaps you are feeling safe in your humanity, inherently superior to the dumb machines all around you, doing your bidding. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, you’ve seen Westworld and, because you are the kind of person who works on Wall Street, have fantasized about an army of beautiful, Turing test-passing sex slave robots, but come one: You’re still on top. Meat sacks still rule the robots, as it was meant to be. As it is ordained. Did not the humans defeat the Terminators?

But wait: The Jeff Goldblums/Kyle Reeses of the hedge-fund world are here to tell you not to get too cocky. At the very least, you’ve got to start gorging on big data and the quantitative skills needed to analyze it. Otherwise Ray Dalio’s Principled robots (or Ray Dalio himself) will be turning you into lunch. The investing singularity isn’t here yet. But it’s coming.

Man Group chief executive Luke Ellis said a failure to adopt quantitative approaches could prove fatal to funds. "If you don’t understand how to treat data with respect, you will get eaten alive," he said.

"Investment edge is incredibly hard to find and it gets harder every day because of the wonders of technology," he added, citing computers' ability to interpret huge data sets at lightning speeds….

His comments echoed those made by Alexander Friedman, chief executive of Swiss money manager GAM, who said investing in 30 years will be "unrecognisable" because of how quickly technology is developing, particularly in areas such as quantum computing….

"Computers can analyse the entire stock-picking universe instantaneously. The time of picking stocks based on inefficient flows of information is over, or will be over pretty soon."

Man Group boss says adopt big data or get ‘eaten alive’ [Financial News]