Hedge Funds

Two Sigma adds Google scientist for AI expansion

Two Sigma Investments hired scientist Mike Schuster, who worked on the Google Brain team, to expand artificial intelligence at the $52 billion quantitative hedge fund.

Mr. Schuster, who started at Two Sigma last week, is leading a new team of coders and engineers to bring together AI efforts in areas like machine learning and deep learning scattered across the firm. The group will also focus on advancements in the technologies.

Mr. Schuster will report to Alfred Z. Spector, the firm's chief technology officer and another Google alum. The pair had worked together during their time at the tech company.

"There are big questions on how to do predictions on very large data sets," Mr. Spector said in an interview Monday. "We want to do more."

In the war for talent between financial firms and Silicon Valley, Two Sigma has hired a hard-to-find AI expert with years of experience. Mr. Schuster was senior staff research scientist at Alphabet Inc.'s Google for 12 years, conducting basic research on machine learning and neural networks and working on the Android speech recognition system and Google Translate, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Two Sigma, which has about 1,300 employees, is looking to expand Mr. Schuster's team, Mr. Spector said. Two-thirds of the hedge fund's headcount are involved in research and development.

Two Sigma is one of the biggest hedge funds to use machine learning and big data to make systematic trades.

Two Sigma assets surged from $2.5 billion over a decade ago, but it struggled to make money in January and February in some funds as volatility has risen.