I took a standardized exam late last week, the first one since taking the GRE prior to coming to the US for graduate school. This was somewhat a key requirement for the kind of business I’m building these days. But since exam prepping (and post-exam recovery) took most of my time the past week, this episode is a bit ‘lite’ on content.

  1. A significant part of the material for the exam relates to laws and regulations pertaining to the financial industry (things you might have seen in movies or even recently in the news). There is a lot that a company that deals with financials has to do to manage regulatory compliance (and avoid huge liabilities, which often lead to huge fines and/or prison term). However, I couldn’t help thinking that some of the compliance tasks could be automated to prevent human error. In fact, many legal tasks appear to follow the same pattern. It turns out that there is already active work on this in the industry. Of course, like with all things A.I., the ethics component is important, and it looks like people are already thinking about this. A chatbot-as-a-lawyer might be a stretch (for now), but I’m sure we’ll see interesting developments in this space.
  2. You might have heard of hedge funds. Fancy investment firms, run by people (usually) looking like this, who make risky and complex bets, ehm, investments that promise their wealthy clients hefty returns, no matter that the overall market is doing (and receive hefty fees in return). One of the most interesting blockchain startups that I’ve seen in this space is trying to democratize hedge funds, in a very cool way. Part of the core concept is not entirely new, but blockchain technology has enabled them to do some really interesting stuff. Another startup is doing something similar (i.e. rethinking investment clubs). Cool stuff coming this way.
  3. Came across a PG essay that I’ve never read before, this one mostly political. It’s long, but worth a read.
  4. Stanford scientists developed a computer algorithm that claims to quite accurately detect someone’s sexual preference just by analyzing one’s facial features. And of course, people had opinions.
  5. In between my study sessions during the past couple of weeks, I took steam off by perusing YouTube. If you’re like me and love Porsches and rock ’n’ roll, you’ll love this video below. Enjoy :)

Co-founder & CTO @ AgentRisk. Former infra-tech guy (storage, networks). Startup nerd. Always building cool side-projects. #LongLA

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