On April 24th, an explosion occurred at the white house. Barrack Obama was severely injured. Oh of course not. But a random tweet said so and all hell broke loose. Someone had hacked into the Associated Press Twitter account and tweeted the tweet, with all the right ‘trigger words’. Now how could a random tweet like this ,which could be cross checked and verified at that moment itself, cause a stock loss of 130 billion dollars? That’s right, 130 billion with a b. That’s like 1 billion but like 130 times more. Or 2 billion but like 65 times more. You get the trend.
How did this happen? Well, what many Wall Street firms do is install supercomputers which are equipped to buy or sell shares at a million trades per second. How they operate is by ‘reading’ myriads of news articles, and yes tweets, to make predictions based on what they read and make tradeoffs on those predictions. So if they find words like ‘bankruptcy’ or ‘merger’ or ‘we are so fucking screwed’, they tend to start selling. So when such a machine comes near the treasure island of a tweet, firstly from a reliable source such as associated press and carrying the words ‘Obama’, ‘explosion’, ‘Whitehouse’, it immediately triggered a mass sellout of shares and thus bob was your uncle. Never really know when to use that proverb.
So my point is…Machines are going to take over the world. It’s just that they are pretty stupid. I mean what’s next? Maybe we should create machines which can look for and predict disasters in the real world. Trigger words like ‘Justin Beaver’ and ‘Rebecca Black’ are bad enough, but together they could cause a nuclear holocaust, and we should be prepared. Or it could monitor YouTube and trigger a deletion drive for extermination when the number of cat videos goes above 80%. Thus, I conclude with what I always say , ‘Don’t run from technology, its actually kind of cool.’