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March 14, 2008

Artificial Intelligence ? You're soaking in it.

You're soaking in it.

This phrase was popularized by a television commercial campaign for Palmolive dish washing detergent. Madge, a manicurist, would comment on the dry, rough appearance of her client's skin as she worked on one hand while the other soaked in a bowl of light green liquid. The client would ask her advice; Madge would recommend Palmolive; the client would act surprised (after all, how could a dish washing detergent affect one's skin? Preposterous.). Then Madge would inform the client about the liquid in the bowl: "You're soaking in it," she'd say, in a very matter-of-fact tone. The shocked client would immediately remove her hand from the bowl, and Madge would guide it back down, assuring her that everything was fine: "Palmolive softens hands as you do dishes."


Program trading (using classic artificial intelligence techniques) is closing in on controlling half of all financial transactions in the world and 80% in the USA.

A third of all EU and US stock trades in 2006 were driven by automatic programs, or algorithms, according to Boston-based consulting firm Aite Group LLC. By 2010, that figure will reach 50 percent, according to Aite.

In 2006 at the London Stock Exchange, over 40% of all orders were entered by algo traders, with 60% predicted for 2007. American markets and equity markets generally have a higher proportion of algo trades than other markets, and estimates for 2008 range as high as an 80% proportion in some markets.

University endowments and corporate pension funds are distributed into Hedge Funds (20%) and stock, bond and commodity funds which are mostly algorithmically controlled. Particularly US markets with 80% program trading.

University endowment investments are described in this pdf

Some people like to mock the idea of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General intelligence as "robot gods". The generally superior than human generated returns from program trading are helping to provide money for paycheck, pension and department budgets of those who mock AI and mock the idea that better AI is coming or that AI will have more and more influence on society.

Reality and facts would just get in the way of Dale's worldview.

Ray Kurzweil is on the vanguard of using even more advanced AI to run his own hedge fund. Part of $30 billion/year invested in hardware and software for financial trading and spending on improving the power and capabilities of those AI systems. As if better AI won't be adopted in this financial intelligence arms race.

A breakthrough that could happen this year [October, 2008] is a supercomputer able to model what people believe could pass a form of the Turing test.

Google is using artificial intelligence techniques to provide better searches and to provide better matching of advertising with search results.

It's pretty clear from what [Google co-founders] Larry Page and Sergey Brin have said in interviews that
Google sees search as essentially a basic form of artificial intelligence. A year ago, Google executives said the company had achieved just 5% of its complete vision of search. That means, in order to provide the best possible results, Google's search engine will eventually have to know what people are thinking, how to interpret language, even the way users' brains operate.

Google has lots of experts in artificial intelligence working on these problems, largely from an academic perspective. But from a business perspective, artificial intelligence's effects on search results or advertising would mean huge amounts of money.


Some of the most powerful AI will be trying to achieve the goal of anticipating what you want to buy when you want to buy it.

FURTHER READING: Many competing options to make computers millions of times more powerful than today.
Proper framing of the transhumanist debate

Promising new approach to molecular computing.

Brain simulation progress.

Tensilica configurable processors could make affordable petaflop and exaflop computers

New nanoscale metamaterial architecture for enabling an all optical computer.

More autonomous robots using better 3D freeze frame visual systems with LIDAR

The struggle over high risk high payoff research.

Quantum annealing can be millions of times faster than classical computers.

Predictions on artificial general intelligence.

Hardware for artificial intelligence.

Cognitive enhancement methods

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

These days all anyone has to do to wipe out a few billion dollars in paper wealth is sneeze on a hedge fund and watch it implode.

If 80% of American financial market transactions are made by AI, then
the current state of American markets is an absolute indictment of the failure of AI to trade safely or sanely.

bw said...

that's right no one lost money before program trading. Nothing like a great depression in the 1930's or recessions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stock_market_crashes

Anonymous said...

Funny that you should mention the 1930's bw.

Correct me if I'm not mistaken , but don't we look like we're in the same zeitgeist again, with huge excess followed by a precipitous abyss beyond? Another trend is the post centennial depressions that have happened around 10-12 years after the turn of the century. Even to 100 year mark if you observe that the current US recession started in the last quarter of 07.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1907

The whole point I guess is that this time it will be a good test of whether or not silicon minds are better than human ones.