GovBrain, a political intelligence website that analyzes government decisions that impact the financial markets, could be an invaluable resource to anyone banking on experimental technologies.
As of this writing, the government is still trying to figure out the rules for drones and self-driving cars. In the not-too-distant future, federal regulators might have to examine robots and their level of artificial intelligence. Who knows what will come next?
"The way it works is, it's kind of like something you'd see on StockTwits, where you have a cashtag and you have a company and you have what we call a political event," Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, founder of GovBrain, told Benzinga. "Then you do a sentiment analysis that, for us, is automated."
GovBrain, which is among the startups competing in the Benzinga Fintech Awards, could be used to examine the rules and regulations for self-driving cars. Those laws (whatever they might be) could impact Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) and any number of automakers. It could even have an impact on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
As a theoretical example, Dr. Eastwood presented an event where federal regulators approve the sale of autonomous cars in the United States.
"[Finding that info] is exactly what we do," said Dr. Eastwood. "We pull any decision like that -- and that would come from a lot of regulatory bodies in the federal government. It could come from Congress. Could be a bill, a committee ruling or a vote. Could be a presidential signature."
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In that respect, Dr. Eastwood said that GovBrain would be "very valuable to those companies and to the investment community."
"If it's coming from Congress, if it's coming from one of the federal regulatory bodies, there's a good chance GovBrain can snag that information before it gets to the regular media," he said. "If we get to the point where there's going to be some type of regulatory ruling on autonomous cars, there's a really good chance GovBrain gets that information first and it goes to whoever has a license to that data stream."
GovBrain can also utilize the new announcements being made on the White House's website, whitehouse.gov.
"The White House, through President Obama, basically now has their own multimedia news service," said Dr. Eastwood. "There's a good chance that a future president could announce something on autonomous cars from whitehouse.gov, which is exactly how President Obama released the net neutrality idea, to give that to the FCC. That happened in November."
Dr. Eastwood said that the President released a video before the market opened at around 8:30 a.m. EST.
"That type of event -- we picked up from the original before the media could even react to it," he added. "So anybody who had that data stream and had that event could have set up a ladder of different types of trades: options, puts, long/shorts on Verizon, on all the different companies that are affected by net neutrality -- all the [telecom companies], all the cable providers. We get this stuff in the original, sometimes before it hits the media."
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Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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