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Robert F. Engle, guest of honour at the ICADE Smart Industry Chair and ICADE Business Club Breakfast

It was the first event held with the Nobel Prize winner in Economics, who returns to Comillas to receive the doctor honoris causa title


7 May 2024

The Chair in Smart Industry (CIC) and the ICADE Business Club organised a breakfast conference with the Nobel Prize in Economics, Robert F. Engle, who is visiting Comillas Pontifical University to be awarded an honorary doctorate together with Professor Eduardo Schwartz. The guest was able to share impressions with a large group of CEOs, company and industry executives, as well as with members of the university's governing team.

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The Rector of the University, Enrique Sanz, SJ, welcomed the Nobel laureate. The President of the ICADE Business Club, Jaime Pérez Renovales, introduced the speaker by briefly reviewing his biography, which he described as "really impressive". Awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2003, Engle introduced the concept of non-constant volatility and developed it in the field of finance, giving rise to the birth of financial econometrics and the models known as ARCH.

Robert F. Engle thanked the audience and gave an overview of his work at the Volatility and Risk Institute (VRI) at New York University, of which he is co-director. "We try to create a predictive model that fits both the needs of the market and the needs of the research career," he said.

At the centre, they have developed a free, online-accessible tool, Volatility Laboratory (V-Lab), so that anyone can get real-time measurement and prediction of financial volatility and correlations for a wide variety of assets, using a variety of models. Engle gave a live demonstration of the valuable information that can be found on this website.

In the subsequent colloquium, led by the research leader and coordinator of the Chair of Smart Industry, Álvaro López, the attendees were interested in the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the labour market, to which Engle responded "Yes, it's real", acknowledging the importance and transcendence that it is achieving, but stressing that the best predictor of the future will always be the behaviour of assets in the past. In his opinion, AI will have a greater impact on those jobs that can be automated, but not so much in the financial sector, where models and methodologies are already tremendously refined. He also highlighted that AI throws up an important dilemma about what information is true and what is not, as it is increasingly difficult to recognise what data has been created by AI and whether it really reflects reality.

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