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Leonid Bershidsky

Social Networks Could Predict the Next Brexit

Big data analysis is in its infancy, but it's already helping some investors make money.
The machines will decide.

The machines will decide.

Photographer: Ben Torres/Bloomberg

The failure of polls and bookmakers to predict the outcome of the Brexit referendum will push the financial sector, which relies on accurate information, to search for alternatives. Some claim they obtained good results from scraping social media, which may have been the best way to predict the June 23 vote result.

Brevan Howard Asset Management, co-founded by the billionaire Alan Howard, reportedly reduced risk ahead of the vote after using artificial intelligence to study social network data. Its $16 billion macro fund gained 1 percent on the day the results were announced; hedge funds globally lost 1.6 percent. Other funds, Bloomberg News reports, are increasing investments in this technology.