AI, Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis Applied to Finance, London, 28 – 29 June 2017


Technology innovations meet greatest success in business when these are entirely ‘client focussed’. Developments in the retail sector, which is consumer-led, are addressing client demand for more personalised, faster and competitive services. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis are changing the way in which these services are offered. In particular Financial Organisations are creating and leveraging such innovation in the domain of wealth management. This trend is now being taken on board by multiple innovators: academia, start-ups, technology companies and financial market participants.

AI and Machine Learning have emerged as a central aspect of analytics which is applied to multiple domains. AI and Machine Learning, Pattern classifiers and natural language processing (NLP) underpin Sentiment Analysis (SA); SA is a technology that makes rapid assessment of the sentiments expressed in news releases as well as other media sources such as Twitter and blogs. The conference addresses and explains how to extract sentiment from these multiple sources of information and showcases the advances that have taken place in the field of financial innovation.

Along with many of the highest-ranking speakers from our London events, we are inviting some new presenters; the focus is on the latest research and includes presentations by leading subject experts from all over the world, as well as a number of applications/case studies.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Pattern classifiers, NLP and AI applied to data, text, and multi-media
  • Sentiment scores combined with neo-classical models of finance
  • Financial analytics underpinned by qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Predictive and normative analysis applied to finance
  • Applications in Financial Markets

Programme from previous conference London 2016

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    Registration and Coffee

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    Welcome and Introduction – Professor Gautam Mitra, OptiRisk Systems Ltd

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    Using AI to Integrate Behavioral Insights into Investment Strategies

    Elijah DePalma, Thomson Reuters

    Machine learning algorithms analyze multilingual professional news and unstructured social media to provide meaningful investment signals for both fundamental and quantitative strategies. Furthermore, research applications of News & Social Media Analytics are expanding beyond equities to encompass Global Macro, Systemic Risk, Supply-Chain Economics and FX Markets. We demonstrate the importance of integrating behavioral insights into long-term investment decisions, and we discuss cutting-edge AI applications for short-term trading strategies.

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    From news to protests: Measuring human behaviour around the world

    Merve Alanyali, Data Science Lab, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

    A mammoth amount of data is being generated by our daily interactions with technological devices and online services. Compared to existing approaches, these new forms of data offer faster and cheaper measurements of human behaviour at a global scale. Examples I will showcase range from using online newspapers to quantify the relationship between financial news and the stock market, to analysing photographs shared on Flickr to track protest outbreaks around the world.

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    Exploiting Alternative Data in the Investment Process

    Peter Hafez, Chief Data Scientist, RavenPack [TBC]

    The emergence of big data in finance has shifted the alpha focus away from being faster to being smarter than the competition. Access to alternative data sources is considered a key input to such process. Peter Hafez, Chief Data Scientist, will provide an overview of RavenPack’s Big Data Analytics and the future development of the RavenPack product suite. In addition, he will present on his latest work on thematic alpha streams as well as providing an overview of general use cases of RavenPack data across various trading and investment applications.


    Peter Hafez : TBC

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    Beating Markowitz with Sentiment and Downside Risk Control

    Tilman Sayer and Xiang Yu, OptiRisk Systems

    We have created an innovative and dynamic trading strategy for equities, with a particular focus on controlling downside risk. The mathematical concept behind the approach is called stochastic dominance, where investment decisions are based on distributions rather than moments. A major contribution of news sentiment is in the prediction of future distributions. Regression analysis on news sentiment and regime switching models are employed to digest market moods and account for changing market situations.


    Xiang Yu

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    Text mining and deep learning for sentiment analysis

    Enza Messina, Professor in Operations Research, University of Milano-Bicocca

    In this talk we addresses the challenges of sentiment analysis of microblogs. We show how combining post contents and network structure information may lead to significant improvements in the polarity classification of the sentiment both at post and at user level. We also discuss the potential of deep learning for enhancing the classification performance through a high level feature representation.

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    Panel: Adoption of Sentiment Analysis, AI & Machine Learning in trading strategies and risk control

    Moderator: Professor Gautam Mitra, OptiRisk Systems

    Panellists: Elijah DePalma and James Cantarella, Thomson Reuters; Pierce Crosby, StockTwits; Anders Bally, Sentifi; Peter Hafez, RavenPack; Stephen Morse, Twitter.

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    Innovative ways of gauging sentiment to trade FX & open source software in finance

    Saeed Amen, Cuemacro

    We discuss several unusual sentiment datasets for trading FX. We begin by discussing how we can infer market sentiment from TIM Group sell side trade recommendation data, and how we can use that to trade FX markets in a systematic manner. We also briefly present a model which uses Prattle sentiment data gleaned from central bank communications to trade FX. Later, we discuss the benefits of using open source software in finance. We present our own open source Python trading library, PyThalesians, which includes a live demo.

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    How Ultra-Low Latency Social Media Trading Signals are Disrupting Traditional Trading Strategies

    Martin Spollen, Yedup Limited

    This presentation showcases the latest developments in market sentiment signalling technology. It describes how frontier mathematics and low latency architecture are combining to transform signal speed and accuracy - ensuring that high frequency traders are 'first to know' as market-sensitive news, events and opinions break on social media.

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    Social Media, News Media and the Stock Market

    Peiran Jiao, University of Oxford

    We contrast the impact of traditional news media and social media coverage on stock market volatility and trading volume. Stocks with high social media coverage in one month experience high idiosyncratic volatility of returns and trading volume in the following month. This result is consistent with the “stale news” hypothesis. Conversely, stocks with high traditional news media coverage experience low volatility and low trading volume in the following month. This result is consistent with some traders exhibiting overconfidence when interpreting signals from news media.

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    Close of Day 1 - Drinks reception and networking

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    Social Listening & Financial Crowd-Intelligence

    Anders Bally, Sentifi

    In the early 90’s the majority of financial market participants used news mainly from services like Bloomberg and Reuters to inform themselves. 20 years later, they still do. During the same period, our society went through a communication paradigm shift. Today more than 2 Billion people walk around with mobile devices and communicate what they see and think on social media. These billions of voices, when structured, can generate insights which can help investors make better investment decisions. This presentation will touch on how Sentifi structures and delivers these insights, providing an information advantage for media platforms globally.


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    Deep learning in natural language processing

    Enza Messina and Debora Nozza, University of Milano-Bicocca

    Recently, deep learning approaches have obtained promising results across many different NLP applications.

    Deep learning has in particular aimed at handling efficiently huge amount of texts in an unsupervised setting by capturing, in a intuitive way, the complexity of natural language.

    We show how deep learning goes beyond the traditional “bag of words” representation by constructing a so-called "neural embedding" or vector space representation of each word or document. We illustrate how this representation can be exploited for sentiment analysis.


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    Coffee break

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    An Era of Emerging Data: APIs, Unstructured Text, and Crowd Trading

    Pierce Crosby, StockTwits

    The digitizing of disparate data has led to a new wave of “emerging data” in the industry, applicable specifically to existing risk and trading models. Translating these data into repeatable results is the new frontier for many asset managers and hedge funds. The discussion will draw specifically from examples of earnings crowdsourcing, satellite imagery forecasting, and social data as it applies to investor sentiment and volatility modeling. We will also cover the diversity of methods used to deliver these data sources and what is considered the new standard for asset managers when it comes to the consumption of data.


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    Close of conference



Sanjiv Das

Santa Clara University, USA


Giuliano De Rossi

Macquarie Research, UK


Armando Gonzalez : TBC

Raven Pack, Spain


Peter Hafez : TBC



Enza Messina

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy


Richard Peterson

MarketPsych, USA


Xiang Yu

OptiRisk Systems


Half-day tutorial:
Title: Text Analytics for Sentiment Extraction in Finance with Applications
Speakers: Sanjiv Das, William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, USA

This tutorial will survey the technology and empirics of text analytics in finance. It will cover various tools of information extraction and text analytics for determining sentiment. We will learn a range of techniques of classification and predictive analytics, topic analysis, and metrics used to assess the performance of sentiment algorithms. We will also visit the literature on text mining and predictive analytics in finance, covering a wide range of text sources such as blogs, news, web posts, corporate filings, etc. The R programming language will be used, and various packages therein will be presented.

Sanjiv Das is the William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. He was previously Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley. He holds post-graduate degrees in Finance (M.Phil and Ph.D. from New York University), Computer Science (M.S. from UC Berkeley), an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, and is a qualified Cost and Works Accountant. He edits several academic journals. Prior to being an academic, he worked in the derivatives business as a Vice-President at Citibank. His current research interests include: the modeling of default risk, machine learning, social networks, derivatives pricing models, portfolio theory, and venture capital. He has published over ninety articles in academic journals, and won numerous awards for research and teaching. His recent book “Derivatives: Principles and Practice” was published in May 2010. He currently also serves as a Senior Fellow at the FDIC Center for Financial Research.

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Event Venue

  • Millennium Mayfair Hotel, London
  • +44 (0) 1895 256 484