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Submission + - World's Largest Hedge Fund To Replace Managers With Artificial Intelligence (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The world’s largest hedge fund is building a piece of software to automate the day-to-day management of the firm, including hiring, firing and other strategic decision-making. Bridgewater Associates has a team of software engineers working on the project at the request of billionaire founder Ray Dalio, who wants to ensure the company can run according to his vision even when he’s not there, the Wall Street Journal reported. The firm, which manages $160 billion, created the team of programmers specializing in analytics and artificial intelligence, dubbed the Systematized Intelligence Lab, in early 2015. The unit is headed up by David Ferrucci, who previously led IBM’s development of Watson, the supercomputer that beat humans at Jeopardy! in 2011. The company is already highly data-driven, with meetings recorded and staff asked to grade each other throughout the day using a ratings system called “dots”. The Systematized Intelligence Lab has built a tool that incorporates these ratings into “Baseball Cards” that show employees’ strengths and weaknesses. Another app, dubbed The Contract, gets staff to set goals they want to achieve and then tracks how effectively they follow through. These tools are early applications of PriOS, the over-arching management software that Dalio wants to make three-quarters of all management decisions within five years. The kinds of decisions PriOS could make include finding the right staff for particular job openings and ranking opposing perspectives from multiple team members when there’s a disagreement about how to proceed. The machine will make the decisions, according to a set of principles laid out by Dalio about the company vision.
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Submission + - Internet users may be ruining our culture (walterburek.info)

walter42b writes: "Stop the Monkeys! A recurring rant on my blog is my huffing about the "dumbing down of America" — a downward spiral in our culture caused by an educational system that graduates students who can't solve simple math problems, can't write a decent sentence and who can't comprehend what they read unless it's written in 4th-grade English. This may sound like nothing more than intellectual snobbery, but the truth is that the corrosive effects of this "dumbing down" now permeate our everyday life and work. Poor grammar and misspelling in newspapers, magazines and on television. "Song" lyrics that range from vulgar to pornographic. Books, magazines, movies and television shows that celebrate the lowest common denominators of our society. And most tragically, America's declining role as world leader in science, technology and literature. Now comes a broadside against the culturally and economically damaging effects of the Internet on our lives. "The monkeys are taking over the show," says Andrew Keen in his new book, The Cult of the Amateur . His simian allusion is to 19th century biologist T. H. Huxley's "infinite monkey theorem." Huxley theorized that if infinite monkeys were equipped with infinite typewriters, eventually some of them would write masterpieces comparable to those of Shakespeare, Plato and Adam Smith."

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