I have to admit I am not certain where I sit on the notion of algorithmic trading or HFT. It is often portrayed as a form of electronic front running – merely a high tech way for broking firms to steal from clients. I have to admit I have some sympathy with this view.
However, it does have to be acknowledged that HFT is merely rules based trading performed at the limits of computational speeds. And if you can get a machine to do it then why not.
This is an interview with Professor Dave Cliff who can be considered one of the pioneers of algorithmic trading. Cliff notes that in even the application of the simplest rules machines outperform humans. We are immensely flawed and it is our flaws that hold us back.