AI is only as good as input that are being fed to it


AI is a buzz word nowadays, and every company trying to emphasize their use of the word. For example, Microsoft, useed this buzzword in the ir quarterly presentation as # 2 word, right after cloud. Nvidia is another comapny being popular nowadays due to DNN. But what really makes Nvidia any different that it was 10 years agio ? They produce CUDA enabled GPU processors now just same way they produced them back in the days, Nvidia is simply hot because GPU allows to compute AI task faster by utilizing parallelism.

But how good is AI itself ? In my opinion, it is only as good as inputs that it is given. Numerai is feeding us (the scientific community) 20 inputs, and we are supposed to compete against each other to design classification that based on these blind inputs produces desired outcome. However, the very first question that I asked myself (being both scientist as well as quant analyst), how good are these inputs ? I believe, Numerai is on the wrong path when they feed us blind inputs chosen by them in a fashion that has not been disclosed nor been given a chance to be discussed.

What do you people think about this ?


If they let everyone with a login download useful data about hedge fund investing, what stops people from taking that data and investing on their own? In that case, has provided a service (the procurement and preparation of data into a convenient and potentially profitable format) at the risk of not being compensated with predictions in return.

The payouts for winning are pretty good, but it is a competition and there is always some degree of luck. The top models each week are all very strong, but there can only be one winner. That is generally decided by random chance.

The payouts for taking “market ready” data, making a strong model and investing with it privately takes a lot of the random chance out of the competitive payout system, i.e. applying game theory, no rational data scientist would compete on They would all take the data and invest with it themselves. is in the hedge fund business, not the giving away free data business.

Moreover, appears to be leveraging the blind inputs they give us by saying it takes the human bias out of investing. This is true. A lot of hedge funds are still ran by “feel” or some sort of “qualntitative” mix of qualitative and quantitative. In that sense itself is trying to have a high originality score vs other hedge funds. This strategy/marketing may attract investors (on the other side of the coin from the data scientists) looking for alternative investment strategies.

I haven’t been able to find a lot of information about that side of the coin and what they are really doing with the predictions, and since I do not have the net worth to invest in a hedge fund currently, I really do not care. It could be anywhere from a true AI trading robot to a total scam that doesn’t even manage a fund. No clue really. I think the right mind set it to focus on your piece of the puzzle and work with what is given. If it is bothering you too much, you can open up R or Python of the tool of your choice and mess around with some market data from another source until you get something that looks like the data. I have done this myself (as I assume almost everyone else on here with a grain of curiosity has), and I can tell you it isn’t all that difficult to figure out roughly what the data represents, if only in an abstract sense.


I think if you’re truly a quant you already know the answer to your question. Anyone around the HF space knows the value of non-traditional/alternative data. It isn’t something you spend a fortune on then dump into the public domain.

I also find it interesting how many people in the competition feel that the company owes them some sort of explanation or clarification on, the data, the business plan, a myriad of things regarding NMR and so on. They don’t owe us anything. They’ve given us a challenge, we all know the scope and the rules and we can compete or not.

As someone who has been tinkering with ML for 20 years, was a Money Manager, who has been involved in the competition on and off since Jan of 2016 and has watched Richard acquire talent both at the operational and board level, I’d be pretty hesitant - personally - categorizing anything the company has done as “wrong”.