Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can Computers Read Our Collective Minds?

Scientists think they have programmed a computer to be able to read the social subconscious and predict where political unrest may happen.

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of current events could have predicted the same top five (Iran, Sri Lanka, Russia, Georgia, and Israel) as the computer. It doesn't take a genius just the knowledge that a recent history of violence tends to repeat itself until resolved by significant change.

Even those that are mentioned in the article as "surprises" really aren't. Italy (politics), Ireland (economics), Jordan (Palestinians), and Columbia (drug lords) are ripe for unrest. Egypt was a power keg waiting for a spark; Tunisia was the spark. The proof of an oracle is not in whether he gets something right, dumb luck is right every so often, but what he gets wrong.
Just as accurate as Milcord and way cheaper.
Web Bot is touted as the Delphic Oracle of silicon. It scans the internet for keywords and makes predictions based on the results. What it does is try to make draw conclusions from the random noise buzzing around the internet. Believers claim it predicted 9-11; detractors point out it predicted WWIII would began two months ago. Oops.
Maybe I was sleeping.
Bottom line, computers have not yet reached the level of godhood.

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