17 posts in this topic


A venture capital firm has appointed a computer algorithm to its board of directors.

 

The program - called Vital - will vote on whether to invest in a specific company or not.

 

The firm it will be working for - Deep Knowledge Ventures - focuses on drugs for age-related diseases.

 

It said that Vital would make its recommendations by sifting through large amounts of data.

 

The algorithm looks at a range of data when making decisions - including financial information, clinical trials for particular drugs, intellectual property owned by the firm and previous funding.

 

Source and more information: BBC News

 

 

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I'm interested.

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So.. Skynet will start by market manipulation, THEN move on to nuclear war.

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So.. Skynet will start by market manipulation, THEN move on to nuclear war.

 

Business Skynet would prefer to use the term "hostile global takeover" :p

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What is this, life rehashing a Johnny Depp movie? Venture capitalists and their toys... :rolleyes:

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Can the company just change its code when it wants a different decision?

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Can the company just change its code when it wants a different decision?

 

They don't need to. They still have a human-majority on the board. This is really just a tie-breaker vote.

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I hope it sounds like the ships computer from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy movie :D

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They don't need to. They still have a human-majority on the board. This is really just a tie-breaker vote.

 

That makes no sense.  If it's just a tie breaker vote that must mean the human majority voted in a tie.  Thus, the question still remains: "can the code be altered if they don't like the initial answer".  The initial answer in this case is how the program decides the tie outcome.

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Maybe this could replace the U.S. Congress.

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At least it cant claim Expenses or cant be lobbied by anyone 

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Maybe this could replace the U.S. Congress.

 

A group of first graders could do better than Washington as a whole, and also better than most State governments 

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Maybe this should replace the U.S. Congress.

Fixed.

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I hope it sounds like the ships computer from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy movie :D

 

Nah, it should sound like Marvin the Depressed Android. "A brain the size of a planet and you want me to decide if you should buy this company. I hope it bankrupts you!"

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At least it cant claim Expenses or cant be lobbied by anyone 

 

You haven't ever worked in government, have you?  :laugh:

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I was about to say something like this but it's actually right in the article:

"On first sight, it looks like a futuristic idea but on reflection it is really a little bit of publicity hype," said Prof Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield.
 
"A lot of companies use large data search to access what is happening on the market, then the board or trusted workers can decide on the advice.
 
"With financial markets, algorithms are delegated with decisions. The idea of the algorithm voting is a gimmick. It is not different from the algorithm making a suggestion and the board voting on it."

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That makes no sense.  If it's just a tie breaker vote that must mean the human majority voted in a tie.  Thus, the question still remains: "can the code be altered if they don't like the initial answer".  The initial answer in this case is how the program decides the tie outcome.

 

It's a tie breaker vote because it only matters in the case of a tie. In most cases, the human majority will win... and if that's the case, changing the code would be pointless because it wouldn't result in any change in the vote tally. If there isn't a tie, there is no point in even running the program to find out what it thinks, except to advise the board members... but that's what normal, non-gimmicky companies do.

 

Why would you change the code in the case of a tie? Half the board would be outraged that the code was intentionally changed from supporting them to supporting the other half of the board. It's an unjustified change when simply lobbying another human would be more ethical.

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