Back in the 1990s, Paul Tudor Jones assigned a team of coders to a project dubbed “Paul in a Box.” The effort sought to break down the DNA of the hedge fund manager’s trading - how he sizes up markets and generates ideas - to train a computer to do the same.
Again and again, programmers had to feed in new types of data to mimic the changing price signals that Jones, famous for predicting the Black Monday market crash 30 years ago, zeroed in on, according to people with knowledge of the project. Even then, the machine couldn’t capture intangibles like his gut instincts and conviction, as well as the market’s uncertainties.
Ultimately, Jones remains the final decision-maker for trades -- not the box.
The limits of that model show why many jobs at the high end of finance are probably safe from automation a little longer.
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