Friday, December 2, 2011
The recent past has seen the complete transformation of financial exchanges from paper to electronics, and from largely human initiated trades to trades initiated by the automated operation of predictive models on variegated market data. It has also seen the integration of trading systems across national and other legal boundaries into a global, non-stop financial trading web. A substantial and growing volume of worldwide trading activity now is determined by Quantitative Finance (“QF”), which incentivizes the modeling of human group behavior to efficiently allocate capital. The distributed computation and communication capabilities of QF have become an integral part of the trading web and constitute a likely field for the emergence of artificial intelligence on a par in many respects with that of humans. This talk will discuss the brief history of electronic trading and Quantitative Finance, discuss the current architectures of the worldwide trading web, and explore the potential role of high-frequency financial trading as a catalyst for the emergence of computational intelligence that not only is faster than human minds but also, physically, orders of magnitude larger (i.e., spanning the entire planet).