Company Wants To Computerize Management

One of the world’s largest investment companies is working on software to make day to day management decisions: not on the investments but rather the operation of the company itself.

The idea appears to be to automate Bridgewater Associates to the point that founder Ray Dalio can take a back seat while still being confident things run the way he would like. The ethos of the project is that although the decision-making would be automated, there’d still be room for human judgment (particularly that of Dalio) in the way the relevant algorithms are created.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bridgewater already gathers huge amounts of data about staff activities, including repeated surveys of staff about the respective skills and weaknesses of colleagues. The company already uses technology right down to an app allowing people in a meeting to vote on whether to stop discussion on a particular topic.

Dalio is said to want almost 75 percent of management decisions to be fully automated by a software system named PriOS by 2021. The software would be based around an existing lengthy document Dalio produced setting out his guiding principles for the company. The software could cover everything from hiring decisions to micromanaging staff activity right down to when they should make a particular phone call.

It’s somewhat appropriate that Bridgewater should be exploring such technology as it already relies heavily on algorithms to make investment choices with as little reliance on human decision-making as possible.

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