algorithms

Algorithms could wipe out the global economy

MNA Science & Tech: Used in almost every industry, algorithms have transformed the way we work – but they have the capacity to do immense damage.

Experts have called on the Government to audit the algorithms used by technology and financial companies to avoid chaos, reported news agency.

Professor Edward Tsang, director of the Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents at the University of Essex, said that algorithms should at least be “test-driven” by regulators to prevent “trillions” of pounds being lost and the global economy being wiped out.

At their most basic, algorithm is a set of rules that computers follow to make decisions. But they can be extremely complex and opaque, even to their creators.

Automated financial trading algorithms have led to rapid falls in stock markets – most notably in 2010 when a trillion dollars was wiped off indexes – and in the value of sterling following the EU referendum when the pound fell by 6% in a matter of minutes.

Companies such as Google and Facebook also use complex algorithm to organize the world’s information.

Their systems use thousands of data points applied to billions of posts and web pages, but this has recently led to controversies over fake news.

The European Council is planning to introduce rules to force companies to open up their algorithms for inspection.

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