Friday, November 4, 2011

The Fear Index

This morning I have finished reading "THE FEAR INDEX" by Robert Harris, who is known for his ancient Rome novels.  This time he has a "science fiction" that happens in the present coupled with a thriller.  It concentrates around hedge fund that uses AI for algorithmic trading,  and succeeds to crash the market and make a  huge earning by trading in short.   It is inspired by the 2010 flash crash.  

As I am a big fan of autonomic computing and  it utilization in daily life and in the business world, I often encounter people who have concerns about computers making decisions, and computers taking over.  Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark wrote the famous plot for the  film of "2001 space odyssey" in which the spaceship computer took over, the computer name was HAL, which is backwardly-removed one letter from IBM.    Some science fiction writers like Asimov also have a vision that computers (in this case android robots) will take over the world, but Asimov considers it as a good property,  since he was not a big fan of the human race.

I am not sure we are close to computers taking over the world, but autonomic systems should be constructed with self-monitoring that can be visible.  This is something that we'll be exploring (among other things) within new proposed project we are doing with many partners.   

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