Numerai: a fascinating proposition which may change the face of Machine Learning on Wall Street

Numerai has a basic premise: ‘what’s missing on the stock market is open participation’. They put it simply ‘a hedge fund with no barriers, no identities, blind data, blind code, and anonymous payments.’

After watching the video below, the [whitepaper] is the starting point for understanding the basic technical details about the project, next up is their Medium page.


A few simple questions answered:

How are they linked to MIRI (Machine Intelligence Research Institute)?

At the time of writing the only mention on the MIRI site is in the July 2016 Newsletter  where it is simply stated that have added an option to donate to the institute. [source]

The bitcoin address is 1Kw9qzjyyS3qRykxkxmoLPwKtAfYqr8hj8 [Source]

Is there a token / cryptocurrency?

Yes – Numeraire (NMR). The token itself can be obtained by submitting a prediction set which performs well. Predictably this asset will be traded as data scientists who wish to increase their profits on successful predictions will with to buy larger stakes in the token. As such the asset will most probably increase in price if the platform begins to generate profit. Note: Numéraire is an existing word meaning an item or commodity acting as a measure of value or as a standard for currency exchange [wiki]

Is it a scam?

The guy whose idea this is (Richard Craib) has put a million dollars of his own money in the fund. [source]

Who owns the predictive model?

You retain all intellectual property rights to your model. You never have to tell anyone how you built it … You only upload your predictions. [source]

Do you get paid?

Each week, 100 data scientists earn bitcoin, with the company paying out over $150,000. Founder Richard Craib says if the fund reaches $1bn it would pay out >$1 million each month. Earnings are denominated in USD but paid out in bitcoin. [source]

There is a leaderboard which lists the amount that different ‘AI’ have made.

Is it anonymous?

Yes… state that “…you never have to tell us who you are.” [source]

Regarding the user NCVSAI state that ‘He is completely anonymous’ however they later state that the ‘Financial Times reported that the creator of NCVSAI works in genomics and biostatistics’ [source] which is indeed true [source].

The Financial times state that ‘The current leader on Numerai’s tournament board is a user called “NCVSAI”, who works in genomics and biostatistics, according to Mr Craib‘ [source]

Clearly there must be some way that Mr. Craib can know know that NCVSAI works in genomics and biostatistics, which begs the questions how can state that he is completely anonymous.

Who is involved?

Joey Krug – Technical Advisor. (Thiel Fellow and co-founder of Augur) [source]

Peter Diamandis – Advisory board. (Chairman of the X Prize Foundation & Singularity University) [source]

Interested in learning more about machine learning?

Learn Theano and TensorFlow

Free books The Elements of Statistical Learning

Check out Kaggle

MOOCs like Andrew Ng’s Coursera course

Let us know if you have any feedback @uk_c_c

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