Dezeen Magazine

The Superstitious Fund by Shing Tat Chung

Royal College of Art graduate Shing Tat Chung has created a superstitious robot that trades on the stock market according to the lucky numbers it generates.

The Superstitious Fund by Shing Tat Chung

The Superstitious Fund project is a live experiment that will run for one year.

The Superstitious Fund by Shing Tat Chung

Starting with £4828.88 invested by 144 people in over 50 cities around the world, the robot will trade autonomously and show the results at any given time on a live display board.

The Superstitious Fund by Shing Tat Chung

The machine responds to algorithms based on lunar cycles, numerology and its own lucky or unlucky numbers.

The Superstitious Fund by Shing Tat Chung

Shing Tat Chung has just graduated from the Design Interactions course and the board is exhibited alongside a series of booklets on superstition at RCA Show 2012 until 1 July.

The Superstitious Fund by Shing Tat Chung

Watch a tour of the exhibition with Design Interactions course leader Tony Dunne here and see all our stories about the work on show here.

Photography is by Diego Trujillo.

Here's some more information from Shing Tat Chung:

Illogical Logic - a project about superstitions and irrationalities.

Many superstitions and irrationalities are often hidden or ignored in our society. The US economy, for instance, can lose up to $2.4 billion a year due fears of Friday 13th. Whilst in times of uncertainty, we become even more superstitious and irrational. So in a time of both economic and financial crisis, we find ourselves occupying a world which is becoming more and more uncanny.

The Superstitious Fund Project is a live experiment in which an algorithm trades based on superstitious beliefs. The autonomous algorithm makes decisions based on lunar cycles and numerology, and also develops its own form of superstitious logic, creating lucky and unlucky values that influence its behaviour. 144 people from around the world has invested a total of £4828.88 in the fund, which will return the resulting balance back to its investors in a year's time. Now trading, the stock market board shows the current performance of the superstitious fund in real time.

The accompanying book documents the creation of the fund, which was developed with the assistance of finance professionals, fortune tellers, programmers and lawyers.

Sponsored by Microsoft Research, GDP Capital and Embedded Adventures
Supported by

Programming: Jim L Hunt, Yosuke Ushigome, Benedikt Grosse.
Finance Advisors: Christopher Bouckley / Caliburn Capital Partners, Takeki Fukushima / UBS Securities, George Potts / GDP Capital and Oliver Hequet.
Special Thanks to Owen Wells