Ghosts in the Machines?

Wilmott forums; a thread with that title started with the question of future programming languages in quant finance. And the possibility to implement "intelligent" solutions. Driven by dreams that the high frequency traders that know more much quicker, make their tamers rich?

When the Jeopardy match of the "Watson" computer against the human champions was started it was spiritedly discussed i the thread, whether the new computing muscles will influence algorithmic approaches.
(as you know, "Watson" pulverized the humans - knowledge mattered, as well decision and reaction).

In quant finance we have many models from the simple to the most sophisticated, related to deal types and contract features. Pricing with PDEs, we usually apply backwards-in-time solvers (partial differential equations are derived from the stochastic differential equations to manage this, knowing that instruments that's pricing is path dependent will create astronomic many paths, if going forward-in-time).

At the other hand, forward solvers are easier to implement, whilst pricing with PDEs one has to take care of pitfalls that come from the problem itself - usually Finite Difference or better Finite Element techniques are used. Even FE application needs some dirty tricks to make them accurate and robust in special cases. (however, avoid tree based methods for no-Mickey-Mouse cases).

But coming back to high-end computing. Will the new computing power change the way we build our computational engines? I think yes. In concrete the application of (Quasi)Montecarlo techniques will increase.
In general the computational engines will need less mathematical knowledge, but dancing with symbols will "move" into literal programming, task-oriented programming, domain specific languages and app building.
I do not know any other technology platform than Mathematica that fits so well for this two-sided technological revolution. Enormous computing muscles and language constructions for user programming and app building. The Wolfram|Alpha revolution the most impressive vector into this future.
UnRisk is uncompromisingly following this revolution.