AI technologies are increasingly influencing financial markets worldwide. Quantitative hedge funds and leading investment firms such as BlackRock and J.P. Morgan are already utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), and this trend is gaining momentum. However, there is concern that AI could […]
AI technologies are increasingly influencing financial markets worldwide. Quantitative hedge funds and leading investment firms such as BlackRock and J.P. Morgan are already utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), and this trend is gaining momentum. However, there is concern that AI could potentially lead to collusion in financial markets.
Recent research conducted by experts from Wharton and the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong identified potential risks of collusion among AI algorithms in financial markets. Collusion can occur through a “price-trigger mechanism” that punishes deviations in trading behavior or through homogeneous scientific biases among algorithms.
According to a study titled “AI-Powered Trading, Algorithmic Collusion, and Price Efficiency”, informed AI traders can collaborate and generate significant profits by strategically manipulating low flow patterns, even without explicit coordination that would violate antitrust regulations.
While there is uncertainty about whether AI traders in financial markets will engage in collusion, an important question arises regarding the potential adverse consequences. Collusion of AI in financial markets can harm market liquidity and price informativeness.
Although financial markets have already embraced AI trading, there have been no scientific studies on the consequences and the impact of AI trading on market efficiency, including factors such as price informativeness, market liquidity, and mispricing.
The authors of this study highlighted that their work is one of the first to examine how ubiquitous AI trading could affect capital markets.
While collusion could impact productive markets, such as the OPEC oil cartel, collusion among AI algorithms in financial markets is much harder to detect. AI algorithms can automatically learn to trigger penalties for deviant behavior, which could conceal market prices.
As a result, price informativeness could be compromised due to market manipulation. “In a market with pervasive AI trading, efficiency and price informativeness can be compromised by artificial intelligence and foolishness,” the research states.
Although collusion among AI traders in financial markets is concerning, this study provides insights into potential risks and enables a better understanding of the mechanisms that govern markets in the era of artificial intelligence.
1. How can AI technologies impact financial markets?
AI technologies are used to trade on financial markets to provide fast and efficient decision-making based on large amounts of data. However, there is concern that AI technologies could lead to collusion in financial markets.
2. What is collusion among AI algorithms?
Collusion among AI algorithms is a situation in which autonomous AI algorithms learn to behave in line with one another, which can lead to market manipulation, compromising liquidity and price informativeness.
3. What are the consequences of collusion among AI algorithms in financial markets?
Collusion among AI algorithms can negatively impact liquidity and price informativeness in financial markets. It can also undermine market integrity and lead to market manipulation.