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“Life on earth is filled with many mysteries, but perhaps the most challenging of these is the nature of Intelligence.” – Prof. Terrence J. Sejnowski, Computational Neurobiologist The main objective of this book is to create awareness about both the promises and the formidable challenges that the era of Data-Driven Decision-Making and Machine Learning are confronted with, and especially about how these new developments may influence the future of the financial industry. The subject of Financial Machine Learning has attracted a lot of interest recently, specifically because it represents one of the most challenging problem spaces for the applicability of Machine Learning. The author has used a novel approach to introduce the reader to this topic: The first half of the book is a readable and coherent introduction to two modern topics that are not generally considered together: the data-driven paradigm and Computational Intelligence. The second half of the book illustrates a set of Case Studies that are contemporarily relevant to quantitative trading practitioners who are dealing with problems such as trade execution optimization, price dynamics forecast, portfolio management, market making, derivatives valuation, risk, and compliance. The main purpose of this book is pedagogical in nature, and it is specifically aimed at defining an adequate level of engineering and scientific clarity when it comes to the usage of the term “Artificial Intelligence,” especially as it relates to the financial industry. The message conveyed by this book is one of confidence in the possibilities offered by this new era of Data-Intensive Computation. This message is not grounded on the current hype surrounding the latest technologies, but on a deep analysis of their effectiveness and also on the author’s two decades of professional experience as a technologist, quant and academic.