Machine intelligence, not blockchain or cloud technology, will have the biggest impact on the exchange industry, predicts new Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman.
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs event, Friedman said that the cloud is going "to change a lot of how we manage our infrastructure," while blockchain "has a huge ability to change the way settlement occurs and the transfer of ownership".
"But if I were to pick the one technology that I think will change the industry the most, it’s definitely machine intelligence."
Friedman thinks that "machine intelligence, and how that deep learning, natural language processing and areas of intelligence will allow firms to become more sophisticated in their strategies, and will also allow risk managers to become much more sophisticated in monitoring activity as well".
Nasdaq is already looking to tap into the technology. In November it launched Nasdaq Trading Insights, a product suite combining proprietary data with advanced analytics and machine learning to provide insights for US listed stocks.
The initial rollout includes three offerings designed to help traders better understand how they perform in the market, how the market behaves, and how they can adjust their strategies to be more successful.
In the more distant future, Friedman sees another potential gamechanger: quantum computing, "which I think is something that is really on the horizon that could fundamentally change, frankly, all of these other areas because the ability to be more sophisticated in your interactions with markets becomes exponentially more interesting".
Friedman's comments come as Nasdaq reports a $224 million fourth quarter loss, largely due to a $578 million write-down incurred on eSpeed and the winding up of its loss-making NLX interest rate futures business.