Dec

5

 Recorded Future is a startup company with a method of organizing, analyzing, weighing, connecting and graphically displaying pronouncements made about future events that has been mentioned in Wired and MIT Tech Review. Looks like an advanced Google Trends program with aspects of data mining and prediction markets. Company plans to have a Webinar for traders on Tuesday, Dec 7th. May be of interest to some. How predictive it really is remains to be tested. Perhaps a small but potentially useful edge if not skewed by noise. Ahlberg evidently has a Swedish military background.

The session will feature an in-depth presentation of Recorded Future's temporal data and web service capabilities led by our Chief Analytic Officer, Dr. Bill Ladd, who will discuss how, using computational linguistics, we extract and temporally index events and entities from a wide variety of online media to identify historical, current and expected future occurrences as well as associated statistical metrics such as momentum and sentiment.

Ladd also has a blog. Recent post talks about buying on rumours before an "event" day occurs:

"We ran an event study to look at stock returns following high momentum high sentiment days for the S&P 500 over the last 21 months or so. And while we did see an increase in market adjusted returns after the event, we saw much more dramatic returns before the event."
and

"However the bulk of positive return associated with the event occurs before the event happens. Given the large jump on event day, its clear that the information isn't completely priced in before the event occurs. But someone was buying well before the events. Someone who had access to the rumor."

An article about them:

'A startup called Recorded Futurehas developed a tool that scrapes real-time data from the Internet to find hints of what will happen in the future. The company's search tool spits out results on a timeline that stretches into the future as well as the past.

The 18-month-old company gained attention earlier this year after receiving money from the venture capital arms of both Googleand the CIA. Now the company has offered a glimpse of how its technology works.

Conventional search engines like Google use links to rank and connect different Web pages. Recorded Future's software goes a level deeper by analyzing the content of pages to track the "invisible" connections between people, places, and events described online.

"That makes it possible for me to look for specific patterns, like product releases expected from Apple in the near future, or to identify when a company plans to invest or expand into India," says Christopher Ahlberg, founder of the Boston-based firm.

A search for information about drug company Merck, for example, generates a timeline showing not only recent news on earnings but also when various drug trials registered with the website clinicaltrials.gov will end in coming years. Another search revealed when various news outlets predict that Facebook will make its initial public offering.

That is done using a constantly updated index of what Ahlberg calls "streaming data," including news articles, filings with government regulators, Twitter updates, and transcripts from earnings calls or political and economic speeches. Recorded Future uses linguistic algorithms to identify specific types of events, such as product releases, mergers, or natural disasters, the date when those events will happen, and related entities such as people, companies, and countries. The tool can also track the sentiment of news coverage about companies, classifying it as either good or bad.

Recorded Future's customer base is currently "sub-100," says Ahlberg. It includes a mix of financial firms, government analysts, and media analysts, who pay a monthly fee to access the online tools. "Government analysts are interested in tracking people and places, while financial services may want to reveal events coming up around particular companies," says Ahlberg.

As well as providing a slick online interface to perform searches that spit out timelines showing the results (see video), Recorded Future offers free e-mail newslettersthat tip users off to predictions in specific areas. It also makes it possible for customers to write software that draws on the tool's data and analysis through application programming interfaces, or APIS.

In time, this may lead to the development of apps targeted at consumers, says Ahlberg. "If I'm about to buy an iPhone, I might want to know if I am going to look stupid because they'll launch a new one next week, or how long it usually takes for competitors to launch competing products after a new Apple launch." Financial analysts are already using the company's APIs to overlay or even integrate Recorded Future's data into their own models, he says.'


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