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AI Businesses IBM

IBM Watson Now Being Used To Catch Rogue Traders (siliconrepublic.com) 60

IBM is piloting its Jeopardy-winning Watson technology as a tool for catching rogue traders at large financial institutions, executives said in an interview Monday. From a report: Referred to as Watson Financial Services, the new product will become a monitoring tool within companies to search through every trader's emails and chats, combining it with the trading data on the floor. The objective? To see if there are any correlations between suspicious conversations online and activity that could be construed as rogue trading.
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IBM Watson Now Being Used To Catch Rogue Traders

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  • Do the Emails belong to company? If so I see no problem with this. If this becomes common practice then company Email won't used in the future. But if they can catch crooked traders NOW for past deeds...
    • Of course they do, anything you do on your employer's network (including this /. post) is legally inspectable by your employer.

      Anything I don't want my employer to know isn't done on their network. If I was a rogue trader and colluding with others you better believe we'd all have burner phones and using something out of band.

  • by sciengin ( 4278027 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @04:47PM (#54300799)

    This is false advertising: Watson is not used at all to find old and rare edition of Games Workshop's "Rogue Trader"!
    Classic example of fake news.

    • And that's totally true: Watson was a program built to play Jeopardy, but now has become a blanket marketing term for many products inside IBM, some of which have nothing to do with AI at all. So who knows what they are even doing there. Some kind of data mining, but other than that........
      • by Anonymous Coward

        +1 true. Right after the Jeopardy event, some key members left and very little of the technology was commercialized. What's often called Watson is a series of rebranded IBM and open source projects. Watson for Machine Learning (or whatever they call it) is just a hosted version of Apache Spark. It used to be SAS.

        Some of the NLP technology was open sourced and available in Apache UIMA. However, UIMA is just a framework for managing NLP projects. Any NLP or machine learning break throughs were kept under lock

  • by WDot ( 1286728 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @04:52PM (#54300835)
    I recently listened to a talk by a Dr. Jeremy Pickens talking about this problem (I'm not his student or employee or associated with him). He argued that this is actually a tough problem to solve because there aren't obvious patterns in criminal activity. Sometimes they use code words, but the code words are different for every criminal. Sometimes they have suspicious conversations after hours, but not always. The people involved in the LIBOR scandal talked openly about their cheating, during work hours. There wasn't anything "unusual" about it to a statistical model, but it was brazen to a human investigator!
    • Interesting.

      One answer to a corrupt financial system is to have better, more complete laws, and follow them.
    • The criminal traders will simply find different ways to communicate which are not monitored.
      • by ark1 ( 873448 )
        This is precisely what these organization want. It is a way to turn your head the other way. "Look we know in order to remain competitive, rules have to be bent but we would prefer if you don't leave a trace within our infrastructure".
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      there aren't obvious patterns in criminal activity. Sometimes they use code words, but the code words are different for every criminal.

      I heavily used code-words at one place simply because the office politics were so intense that little things created drama storms.

      Bob: "How's the hopper rider and the green peas?"

      Me: "Oh, the Flanagan popped a rabbit, which agitated the mountaineer again."

      Bob: "Yeah, their fiddle-sticks pack a punch. Good thing the Flux Whopper can plug the hole, otherwise Mr. Owl's tree bra

    • At the moment, everything to or from a trader is recorded whether Emails or Voice. Nobody goes near it unless there is an official enquiry or funny price patterns are observed. So a "Can you nudge it a bit up" may be obvious when talking about interest rates and if a human listens in. Currently, without full language recognition and some very clever analysis is that can be done is to look at whether prices seem "wrong" when compared with other data.
  • Rogue traders do it from behind.
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @05:27PM (#54301055) Journal
    Allowing, nay, encouraging, surveillance by artificial intelligence to nab the evil high volume stock traders would never be misused against a general public eager to see the practice implemented.
  • It's too easy to circumvent - use private email, pass notes, take a break and talk outside, etc.

    It seems more likely that they're using this project as an opportunity for tuning Watson so it can be developed as a replacement for your average stock analyst.

    • It's too easy to circumvent - use private email [from a cellular network connection], pass notes, take a break and talk outside, etc.

      It seems more likely that they're using this project as an opportunity for tuning Watson so it can be developed as a replacement for your average stock analyst.

      FTFY

    • tuning Watson so it can be developed as a replacement for your average stock analyst.

      Why would they take the step backwards. After all, a PRNG does better than the average analyst.

  • That bit pusher can't hold a job.

    It'll end as a burger flipper.

  • Not sure if there aint a better purpose for an AI machine else then playing jeapordy and being the next NSA tool. But that exactly points out what it can't do. Watson would be more valuable if it could do the trading but I guess that is just a pipedream.
  • Let the AI root out the rogue assholes. Ok, I know all of them are corrupt assholes, but Watson could connect the dots to let a good third of them end up in jail.
    • They are the very definition of 'middle-men'. They are the gatekeepers because they're the gatekeepers, not because they're adding value.

      Because if they really were adding value, they'd simply enrich themselves with their knowledge instead of hedging their bets by taking a commission off of others.

      They're glorified shamans and bookies, offering betting advice based on sheep entrails. But they get lots of coke and hookers, so they have that going for them.

  • They aren't going to worry about this. After all, they already have an Imperial Warrant. [lexicanum.com]

  • Rogue traders? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyberchondriac ( 456626 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2017 @10:50PM (#54302611) Journal

    Can it catch Paladin, Barbarian, Wizard, Cleric, or Bard traders too?

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