Rise of the Machines - There are many scifi stories about humanity’s creations turning into their nemesis, but once again life is stranger than fiction. The machines are in fact taking over; however not in the form of menacing chrome robot overlords, but rather in the shape of ever evolving algorithms. They are everywhere, removing the function of decision making from the domain of human thinking. Case in point: stock trading.
We also don’t know what the long term consequences are of […] this ongoing evolution from human traders to rapidfire AI. Sometimes things go wrong, a software glitch, an algorithm gone rogue and the music stops, like last week when Knight Capital lost $10 million a minute.
Yet if something were to go wrong — some bug or mutated AI gone awry, big enough to create a feedback loop that cascades through the system — it would happen in the blink of an eye. By then, for the humans at least, it would already be too late.
Algorithms are everywhere, suggesting your next purchase (“customers who bought this also looked at …”) or deciding what movie you should watch next (“people who liked this movie also enjoyed …”). And not even their creators can fully predict their behavior anymore.