Shing-Tat Chung says:
Would you trust a superstitious robot with your money? Can technology operate with human characteristics, interpreting data and information with basic human behaviors. The Superstitious Fund Project is an investment Fund that is run by a superstitious autonomous Algorithm. As a one year experiment it operates and trades purely on superstitious beliefs. Buying or Selling on Numerology and in accordance to Lunar Phases. For example it has the fear of the number 13 and a full moon. It also develops its own lucky ad unlucky values, just as we do all the time. We are hardwired to imagine patterns that give us the illusion of control. Win a tennis match, and we've got lucky socks. The Algorithm creates these patterns throughout the year, ranking and deranking superstitions. They are then used as a new logic in trading.
As a one year experiment, £4828.88 was invested from participants over 50 cities around the world. After the one year, the balance will be returned at either a profit or a loss.
The project provides an alternate viewpoint on how technology can operate, highlighting issues on algorithms in our world. The flash crash of 2010 is a good example of where we create these algorithms and soon become less privy to their following actions. The Crash was caused by trading algorithms - but we don't know why or how. There is a world in which a new world of algorithms exist that becomes less accessible to. The Fund also comments on our increasing irrational behaviors. Contrary to belief, we are actually becoming more superstitious due to a number of reasons, and as a result our world is shaping and has shaped around our irrationalities.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects