Trading Faster Than The Speed Of Reality

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Michael Wellman is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. 

At 1:07 p.m. on April 23, a hijacked AP Twitter account falsely reported an attack on the White House. Seconds later, major US stock indexes started to fall. They were down 1 percent by the time the tweet was publicly identified as bogus three minutes later. And in another three minutes, the markets had recovered to pre-tweet levels.

The quick plunge appears to have been triggered or exacerbated by computer algorithms that automatically trade based on monitoring and analyzing social media streams. Indeed, a growing number of firms and startups claim they can tease emotion, meaning and context out of social media chatter and identify financially relevant information. Augify, SNTMNT, and Lucky Sort (acquired just last month by Twitter) are a few examples. Although we don’t know how any particular product handled the fake AP tweet, the…

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About plerudulier

Primarily interested in interacting and engaging with people about issues related to profession but also charity, environment, ... you get the idea.

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