Resident Showcase: Price Insight with Anton Hughes

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Angus Pauley interviews co-founder of Price Insight, Anton Hughes.

Price Insight is a pioneer in Explainable Artificial Intelligence in finance. For many traders and investors several hours research is required before making each trade. Price Insight saves traders time by finding and delivering trading opportunities in real time via our mobile app. 


Are there any thought leaders in AI you would recommend people read/listen up on?

There is so much happening in the AI field. Its hard to suggest a single thought leader.

What is a common misconception or something which people often get wrong about AI? Is there a piece of bad advice you hear often?

The main misconception is in thinking that AI is close to human level intelligence. While AI research and development is rapidly progressing we are still a long way from this level of intelligence.

How do you feel about the doomsday prophecies of AI (a la Skynet)?

That is a very interesting question. For people who are not working with AI they often think of Terminator like scenarios. Or perhaps worry about losing their job to AI. These concerns are real and are being discussed. AI is still very early in its development. However - even at this early stage there are risks. Samsung, for example, famous as a mobile phone manufacturer, also manufactures an autonomously fired gun - it can detect and decide to shoot people.

The risks of AI are real. Fortunately there are organizations working to contain these risks. The UN has opened a center specifically around monitoring the risks of AI from rogue states and organized crime. Also Elon Musk has founded the OpenAI project in an effort to bring about safe AI.

Is there a particular application of AI outside of financial investment that you are particularly excited about? Or a particular application of AI you seem to talk to others more than any other?

One of the biggest developments in biotech is CRISPR/Cas9 which makes gene editing much easier and cheaper than previous approaches. Machine Learning and Artifical Intelligence is being applied to CRISPR/Cas9 with the aim of significantly advancing the area of gene editing. This could potentially bring about some really mind boggling developments.

What were you doing before Price Insight? 

Prior to Price Insight I co-founded another fintech startup. And before that I was working in for a bank in Scandinavia, in both the business and technology related areas of the bank.

Was there a particular moment of frustration or an a-ha moment in which you came up with the idea for Price Insight? What was that moment like?

There was not one - but many - moments of both frustration and eureka. Founding a startup is an rollercoaster ride made up of 100s of these moments.

How large is the Price Insight team? How did you meet your team?

Besides myself there are 6 others including AI experts, data scientists, researchers and software engineers.

If you could recruit one famous person to Price Insight right now, who would you recruit? Why? 

That's an interesting question. There are plenty of smart minds that have helped develop AI. But I dont know how these people are to work with. I dont know how they would fit in with the team. Also, typically software, and AI developers are a team effort. So if I could recruit a team it would be Deepmind guys. This is the group who developed AlphaGo, the AI that beat the world Go champion.

Did you have a particular moment or group of moments at FoundX that you tend to remember when you look back on the night?

No one single moment. I would say most memorable aspect of the evening was the strong community spirit of the night. It was great to sense, and be part of, the growing Dunedin startup community.

How do people currently solve the problem, Price Insight solves? 

Typically active traders and investors will spend several hours analysing market data looking for trading opportunities. Price Insight finds trading opportunities using various AI methods, such as Reinforcement Learning. We also provide an explanation for the opportunities that we discover. Simply put, we save investors a of time.

What is the most frustrating part of building a digital product?

Marketing. Its incredibly hard to get awareness.

If you could time-travel – what advice would you give yourself about starting Price insight? 

Meditate more.

Do you have a strange habit or something you do which you consider absurd/odd? For example I always touch the outside of a plane for good luck before flying.

I also do that!

Finally, If you could put anything on a billboard that would be seen by millions of people, what would you choose?

This -

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INTERVIEW BY ANGUS PAULEY

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