Artificial Intelligence
3 mins

Harnessing AI for Image Recognition in Finance: The JPMorgan Journey

JPMorgan are using image recognition to support buy/sell trading decisions

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has taken a pioneering step by employing artificial intelligence (AI) in a novel and groundbreaking way. This leap, helmed by AI expert Manuela Veloso, has seen the firm adopt image recognition technology, not for the usual suspects of cat, dog, or orange detection, but for something much more complex and potentially lucrative: buy/sell trading decisions.

The Genesis of a Revolution in Trading

JPMorgan's journey into this uncharted territory began with the appointment of Veloso to head its AI research group in 2018. Veloso, who juggles her role at JPMorgan with her responsibilities as the head of machine learning research at Carnegie Mellon University, brought a fresh perspective to the table. Her experience in training AI systems in more conventional realms of image recognition set the stage for a new challenge.

A New Vision on the Trading Floor

Veloso's first encounter with the trading floor at JPMorgan was a pivotal moment. Confronted with a sea of screens and a buzz of activity, she was struck by a fundamental question: How do humans process the overwhelming amount of information presented to them and make timely, effective trading decisions?

This query led to a eureka moment. Veloso realized that just as humans make trading decisions based on visual cues from their screens, so too could machines be trained to interpret these images.

Transforming Time Series into Images

The traditional approach in finance has been to analyze numerical time series data. Veloso, however, proposed a radical departure: capturing images of these time series directly from the screens. This meant training neural networks to recognize patterns not in physical objects but in lines and shapes representing financial data.

The Breakthrough: Mondrian

Named 'Mondrian', this project didn't just stop at image analysis. It delved deeper into understanding trader behavior through eye gaze tracking. By analyzing where traders looked most frequently and what sequences they followed, Veloso's team aimed to replicate human decision-making processes in AI.

This approach paid off spectacularly. After a week of training, the neural network achieved a staggering 95% accuracy rate in deciding whether to buy or sell a stock based on the time series images.

Beyond Image Recognition: A Gaze into the Future

Mondrian isn't just about image recognition. It represents a holistic view of decision-making, combining visual cues with behavioral insights. By identifying the most valuable assets on a screen and sequencing decision-making behavior, this project opens new vistas in how machines can be trained to mimic, and potentially enhance, human cognitive processes.

The Impact and Beyond

The implications of Mondrian are vast. For JPMorgan, it represents a significant technological edge in the highly competitive world of finance. For the broader world, it's a vivid example of how AI can transcend traditional boundaries and applications.

Veloso's work at JPMorgan is more than just a job; it's a mission to push the boundaries of what AI can achieve. With her call for new talents to join this exciting journey, it's clear that this is just the beginning of a new era in AI and finance.


JPMorgan's foray into using AI for image recognition in trading is not just an innovation; it's a testament to the power of thinking outside the box. Under Veloso's guidance, the firm has not only enhanced its trading strategies but also opened up new pathways for AI applications in finance and beyond. As AI continues to evolve, it's initiatives like Mondrian that will pave the way for future breakthroughs.

November 15, 2023

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