OZY: Can Investors Trust Wall Street's New Ticker Tape?

By SIMON CONSTABLE

It wasn’t long ago that IBM Watson emerged as a new kind of Jeopardy! champ in a battle of knowledge against two human quiz whizzes and proved what had long eluded scientists — that computers really could emulate human intelligence. Now one of the brains behind that same technology is playing a part in trying to shape a more democratic Wall Street.
Meet Social Alpha, a New York City-based startup created a couple of years ago by Prem Melville, who not only holds a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence but is also a veteran of the IBM Watson Research Center. Social Alpha’s programs are designed to scour Twitter in an effort to pinpoint hot investing tips — in real time — “to increase profitable trades and reduce investment risk.” How, exactly? Well, it attempts to pinpoint what analysts and investors are saying about stocks in your portfolio or how people feel about certain new investment opportunities, among other things that get discussed in tweets.
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